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The Blind Side, A Hollywood Film

1986 words - 8 pages

Have you ever wondered why so many films portray the story of a poor, abused, homeless, colored person that is eventually rescued by a smart, rich, white person? Every few years, there is a new film made that captures this same story, but the way the viewer is affected by the representation of race changes quite often. This idea gets old to many viewers who may agree with the idea of race being addressed in film, but not in the same way all the time. When a rich, white, republican family in the South takes in a homeless black boy to live with them, they struggle with the disapproval of society and their own insecurity. The Blind Side, a Hollywood film released in 2009 by director, John Hancock, represents the idea of race in this conventional, racist fashion.
The Blind Side, based on a true story, is about a seventeen year old, large, physically distinguished black boy, Michael Oher, who grew up in the projects in Memphis. This movie captures his disturbing life. Out of circumstances which include Coach Cotton's belief that he would advance the school's football team based mostly on his size and the way he moves, Michael is accepted into Wingate Christian School - an exclusive white private school - despite his disturbing 0.6 GPA. After Michael starts attending Wingate, most of his teachers believe there is no way to teach him except Mrs. Boswell, his science teacher; she begins to understand that he learns differently from the rest of the students. Believing he has no one to help him, Leigh Anne Tuohy- mother of Wingate students, Collins and S.J. Tuohy, and wife to Sean Tuohy, franchise owner of several Taco Bells - invites Michael to stay in the Tuohy's expensive home for the night. But that one night slowly turns into weeks, then to months, and becomes more emotional as the Tuohys begin to treat Michael like part of the family. This leads to Leigh Anne fully understanding Michael as a person so that he can fulfill his potential, including being a left tackle. Some problems include Michael's poor grades which may stop him from participating in activities like football, his learning disability which may change other parts of his life other than his schooling, whether he actually can play football, and authorities questioning all of the Tuohy's motivations in inviting Michael into their home and family.
The Blind Side retells this conventional white savior story in such a way that the viewer can automatically identify the storyline within the first 30 minutes. This film portrays the same story that gets told over and over again about black individuals because white people see this as part of their everyday lives; a story where people of different colors are poor, need help, light-skinned people arrive to help them, redemption is had, and everything ends as a fairytale. The relationship between races is something Americans are deeply uncomfortable with; neat stories like this help them realize how it is alright for both races to interact...

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