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Minorities Portraying in Movies

Movies comprise pictures in motion created either by recording images using cameras, animations, or special effects. Movies come in different kinds; dramas, actions movies, horrors, comedy, and action dramas and involve different characters. Movies are created by culture representing those cultures and, in turn, may affect those cultures. These movies are designed to portray how ethnic life differs from one group to another. “Many movies aimed at complex portrays, both positive and negative, in effort to define cultural difference on their own terms” (Erens).

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As a result of the nature of movies and how they portray the characters, then a question will arise on the truthfulness of the movie with respect to the aspects of culture it portrays. Movies are considered tools of educating, entertaining, and informing. Being components of mass media, they have effects both on those cultures they present and the people who watch these movies. They impact bad behavior to those who watch them, especially the young ones who find practicing what they saw in them.

Misrepresentation of groups on movie screens has caused serious suffering to that group even though; some of these movies are not real: “the magical images reflect fantasies—distortions—but truths of another sort” (Mapp 28). Movies have enhanced international understanding of various groups because movies portray characteristics of the group set from. In every movie, there are different persons who play different important roles in the work. One person or a ground stands out to possess distinct features and performs a specific function. Movies have been designed to reflect the dominant ideas of the ruling groups. Then problems arise when the aspect portrayed by the characters in the movie do not reflect the reality of the culture represented (Mapp 38).

There are general trends in many movies where you find that minority groups are represented negatively. In many movies, the minorities play a negative role while the dominant characters play a positive role. Minorities are portrayed as being weak, lack ideas, and they do not survive especially in action movies. The dominant group manipulates the minorities to their own advantage; they make or use them to remain dominant forever. For instance, many movies represent African American men or black men in general as violent, murderers, illiterate, and drug smugglers: the dominant group plays as the detectives, the judicial to prosecute the convicted murderers, and at the end, they are the winners- – they fall and rise. This scenario presents the black culture as being violent and lawbreakers. Although there are minor elements within the black culture that have these characters, it doesn’t mean that all black people are like that. Some black people may take it as a misrepresentation of their culture, and the scenario may be a mockery of their black culture in general.

Again you will find that the minorities, now this time women, are portrayed as prostitutes and less fortunate in society. They are immoral and are always after money from men. Actually, this picture is absurd to women because not all women are prostitutes. “All black women are cased as being loyal domestic helpers or single mothers” (college research). You may feel that this is not negative, as it represents them as successful. But because of their humility and loyalty, the male counterparts of the dominant group take advantage of women’s royalty and force them into making love. Minorities play the role of terrorists, mostly the Arabs (Pines 69). They are seen as a threat to the whole world, and the dominant group is after destroying them. All dangerous weapons are associated with them, and their only intention is to kill the dominant group. In response, there is a confrontation between the two groups, a fight erupts, but the minorities are defeated and killed. One funny thing with this confrontation is that the minorities are in a large group, but they lose to the dominant group with few characters. You can not imagine how the minorities are brutally executed and eliminated from the scene of the movies no matter how strong they might be (Pines 78).

The way the minorities are portrayed in many movies does not necessarily reflect the actual characteristics of that culture in many cases. We understand that some movies may be a true story, but to some extend the minority-dominant group is exaggerated. Actually, we can say that movies are designed to show the superiority of one group over the other: usually the dominant group outweighs the minority. The moviemakers are encouraged by the profit they make from consumption, and may not be concerned by the negative response their movie is going to attract from the movie lovers in the market (College research).

Movies play an important role in socializing people and up to individual’s decision of not watching movies that portray the minorities in the negative role. Those in movie producing industry should be encouraged to balance between entertaining their audience and respecting different cultures and ethnicity.

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Works cited

College research, Images of Minorities in Movies. 2008. Web. 

Erens Patricia, Images of minority and foreign groups in American films. 2008. Web. 

Mapp, Edward. “Blacks in American Films: Today and Yesterday”. Concentrates on blacks in postwar films. The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, N.J., 1972 23-99.

Pines, Jim. “Blacks in Films: A Survey of Racial Themes and Images in American Film”. Bibliography and chronological filmography. London, Studio Vista, 1974, 67-88.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Minorities Portraying in Movies." September 24, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Minorities Portraying in Movies'. 24 September.

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