Entertainment Books:

Fear of the Dark

'Race', Gender and Sexuality in the Cinema



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Fear of the Dark by Lola Young
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Since film became a major component of mass circulation popular culture, the portrayal of black people has erupted onto cinema screen in an apparently non-systematic, erratic manner. While these portrayals constitute an invaluable source documenting particular experiences and providing historical interpretation, they have tended to be studies for the ideological correctness of depictions of black people and the extent to which they rely on stereotypes. Fear of the Dark develops a particular critical perspective on the film portrayal of female black sexuality and questions the extent to which film makers have challenged its stereotypical image, examining the degree to which black female sexuality systematically connects with history. Films such as Sapphire (1959), Flame in the Streets (1961), Leo the Last (1969), Pressure (1974), Black Joy (1977), Burning an Illusion (1981), Playing Away (1986) and Mona Lisa (1987) are closely examined and situated in their historical and social context. There are several themes which provide the focus for the analyses of the films: anxieties about interracial sexual relations; the assumption of an oppositional relation between black and white people; fears about the instability of the family unit and its effect in black and white communities; and social relations between black and white women.
Release date NZ
December 7th, 1995
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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