W-100: THE PRINCESS BRIDE

princessbrideWhite One Hundred: 100 Great Films Starring Only White People, #4 — The Princess Bride — The entire point of the White One Hundred project is not to accuse any one film or filmmaker of being racist. The point is to call attention to the omission of people of color within the world of film, and that most certainly is a byproduct of racism. And the problem with this particular byproduct is that it can be found in some really great films that don’t appear to be racist at all, and yet contribute to the dehumanization of people of color by simply leaving them out. Case in point: The Princess Bride. I love this movie. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. But there ain’t no black, brown, or yellow folks anywhere in the movie. Not one. Even the Spanish character, Inigo Montoya, is portrayed by a white actor. You’re telling me that in all of Florin there isn’t one person who wandered over from Africa or Asia? It’s not like I’m asking for any of the main characters to be played by actors of color, but a handful of extras would have been nice. I mean come on, give us minority folks a sense of belonging. Instead, it is made known to us that we don’t belong. And this is where we see how oppression through omission works. The Princess Bride is a great film. I definitely prefer it over Star Wars (which I think is mediocre at best), but sorry folks, it takes place in an all-white world. And in such worlds that provide our entertainment, our perceptions of everything from beauty to romance to good and evil are formed. For better or worse, this is a fact. How many of us cling to ridiculous notions of love and romance that have been formed by watching movies? Well, apply that same line of thought to the notions of what the world looks like, and you begin to see how the omission of people of color normalizes the notion of an all-white world, where all the measures of beauty and heroism are framed within a paradigm that excludes minorities.

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