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How Are Gender And Sexual Politics Entangled With Racial Politics In "Uncivilised", "The Tracker", And "Nice Coloured Girls"?

1484 words - 6 pages

Film is an agent of social and political change. It is through film that dominant discourses can be challenged and rewritten. The films "Uncivilised" (1936), "The Tracker" (2002) and "Nice Coloured Girls" (1987) represent discourses of their eras that either conform to or challenge popular opinion. "Uncivilised" conforms to the notion of white culture supremacy, "The Tracker" confronts contemporary white Australia with their brutal history towards Aboriginals and "Nice Coloured Girls" redefines the power relationships between Aboriginal women and white men. "Uncivilised", "The Tracker" and "Nice Coloured Girls" all interweave the themes of gender, sexual and racial politics to create powerful films.Charles Chauvel's film "Uncivilised"' (1936) entangles racial, gender and sexual politics at numerous levels. The film resolves around a white Australian woman, Lynn who sets out on an expedition to find the white savage, the white Australian man, Mara who lives with and rules an Aboriginal tribe.The racial politics within the film resolve around the representation of Aboriginal characters in comparison to the representation of white characters. Aboriginals within the film are shown as primitive and savage. There are long shots of Aboriginal women's breasts which can be read as representing their primitive nature and lack of morals. Aboriginals within the film are not represented individually and thus the audience views them as indiscernible from one another and thus animal like. The Aboriginals within the film possess no meaningful language instead they merely grunt at one another. Thus a parallel between Aboriginals and animals can be drawn. Thus the film can be seen as representing the dominant ideology of 1930s Australia that of white supremacy. Mara, the white character who has been brought up with the Aboriginal tribe possesses a moral superiority to his tribe members. His superiority is inherently gained from his whiteness. Thus he is the leader of his tribe and tries to teach his tribe white values which they all view as superior to their own values. Mara believes that he can only be with a white woman, as only a white woman deserves him. The character of Mara can thus be viewed as a tool of education of the intended audience as many white men at the time were sleeping with and raping Aboriginal women. Mara represents the notion of noble savage within the film. His nobility lies in the fact that he is white and therefore not really a savage.The representation of the Aboriginal women's bodies within the film is related to the dominant representations of the era. By using long shots of the Aboriginal women's breasts the filmmaker is commenting on their difference and primitiveness and thus their otherness. The intended audience of the film will thus read the women and thus all Aboriginals as amoral and socially backward savages. White supremacy is thus confirmed by the film.Rolf de Heer's film "The Tracker" (2002) interweaves racial politics with...

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