Screen Saviors / Edition 1

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Overview

Screen Saviors studies how the self of whites is imagined in Hollywood movies—by white directors featuring white protagonists interacting with people of another color. This collaboration by a sociologist and a film critic, using the new perspective of critical _white studies,_ offers a bold and sweeping critique of almost a century's worth of American film, from Birth of Nation (1915) through Black Hawk Down (2001). Screen Saviors studies the way in which the social relations that we call _race_ are fictionalized and pictured in the movies . It argues that films are part of broader projects that lead us to ignore or deny the nature of the racial divide in which Americans live. Even as the images of racial and ethnic minorities change across the twentieth century, Hollywood keeps portraying the ideal white American self as good-looking, powerful, brave, cordial, kind, firm, and generous: a natural-born leader worthy of the loyalty of those of another color.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
The study cuts through 84 years of films with many specific and accurate analyses. It will give instructors a new perspective and students tough questions to ask in many classes. Recommended.
Beaches Leader
Analyzes the images of white protagonists interacting with people of another race or ethnicity in American movies from 1915's 'Birth of a Nation' to 'Black Hawk Down' in 2001. This book reveals the diverse, often disturbing ways in which movies manufacture the 'white self,' the image and the story of whiteness articulated by white film makers.
Film & History
Provocative book. There's plenty to enjoy.
Rockford Register Star
If you want to explore a colorful, controversial side of film lore, check out Screen Saviors. At the very least, it'll make you think about what you are watching.
Contemporary Sociology
A valuable addition to the growing scholarship of hegemonic whiteness in America.
Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Provocative book. There's plenty to enjoy.
CHOICE
The study cuts through 84 years of films with many specific and accurate analyses. It will give instructors a new perspective and students tough questions to ask in many classes. Recommended.
Robert Elliot Fox
Through a careful, detailed examination of an impressive number of significant American films, the authors vividly demonstrate the extent to which notions of white supremacy assert themselves, often unconsciously, even in works in which a liberal, ostensibly anti-racist viewpoint dominates. Screen Saviors is an important contribution to cinema studies and to the growing body of scholarship devoted to the study of white identity.
Daniel Bernardi
This book reveals the diverse, often disturbing ways in which movies manufacture the 'white self'—the image and story of whiteness articulated by white filmmakers. Avoiding polemical posturing and relying upon historical analysis, the authors provide us with an insightful project that is written with clarity and care.
Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Provocative book. There's plenty to enjoy.
Joe Feagin
A pioneering and highly original book. From Birth of a Nation to the latest Hollywood films, Vera and Gordon describe and critically analyze Hollywood movies made by dozens of different white directors, producers, and writers, people with different imaginations and styles. Yet virtually all the movies they have made fit the same mold of not challenging white privilege.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847699476
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.09 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Hernán Vera is professor of sociology at the University of Florida and an author of several books on race relations. Andrew M. Gordon is associate professor of English at the University of Florida and a film critic.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword: A Nation of Sheep Chapter 2 Learning to Be White through the Movies Chapter 3 The Divided White Self Chapter 4 The Beautiful White American: Sincere Fictions of the Savior Chapter 5 Amistad: Civilization and Its Contentments Chapter 6 Mutiny on the Bounty: Civilization and Its Discontents Chapter 7 Racism as a Project:Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Chapter 8 Scarlett and Mammy Revisited: White Women and Black Women in Hollywood Films Chapter 9 White Out: Racial Masquerade by Whites in American Film I Chapter 10 White Out: Racial Masquerade by Whites in American Film II Chapter 11 Black and White Buddies I Chapter 12 Black and White Buddies II Chapter 13 Conclusion: The Crisis of Whiteness

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2003

    An Astonishing Array of Films and Interpretation of Them

    This exceptionally well researched and documented interdisciplinary review of film is a structural recapitulation of a history of film and race relations writ large. Anyone who loves the movies and thinks that there is 'much beneath the surface' that is never touched by news reviews will be thrilled by this work of Andrew Gordon and Hernan Vera. They give the performance of a life time in their interpretation and well- balanced examination of some of the most important issues in the modern arena in film and echoed within every day life.

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