Saturday, December 8, 2012

The entire premise of the film "The Impossible" disgusts me.

The trailer played when I saw Anna Karenina and then again when I saw Perks of Being a Wallflower, and both times elicited a visceral reaction of disgust from me, like seeing a cockroach or getting a big whiff of garbage truck while I'm walking to work. The words that flash across the screen during the trailer are as follows: "In 2004...tragedy struck southeast Asia...This is one family's true story of survival."

...Note that the entire premise of the film has been established now that we are 47 seconds into the trailer, and we. have. yet. to. see. a. southeast. Asian. person. Because OBVIOUSLY the ONLY possible way to make a movie about the tsunami that will do well in an American market is to whitewash it so completely that the 75,000+ Southeast Asian people who died in this tragedy aren't even mentioned, so that the focus of the film is rather a British family who was vacationing at the time, because then it's like this could happen to you, American moviegoer who is presumed to be white and wealthy enough for vacationing in Southeast Asia to be a feasible possibility in your life. Because Southeast Asians aren't people you can relate to, obviously. Their deaths are a statistic--this British family's true story of survival is an emotional triumph! 

If you can stomach watching the rest of the trailer, you see that we finally see people of color at a minute and 28 seconds in! The movie is set in Southeast Asia and it took 60% of the trailer before we saw a person of color. Okay. It's actually a group of people of color. What are they going to do? Oooh look, it's as if they've been magically conjured to save the poor injured white woman, who will weep and profess her thankfulness. Oh, they're gone so quickly, appearing only for a few seconds. Wait...we never see them again? BUT I THOUGHT THIS MOVIE WAS ABOUT A TRAGEDY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. 

To paraphrase the quote at the end of the trailer, "Nothing is more powerful than the human spirit people's sympathy for unsuspecting White people."

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