Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Blood of Jesus (1941)

The Blood of Jesus Poster

The film The Blood of Jesus depicts a certain type of reality. Spencer Williams was a Hollywood outsider attempting to depict African Americans on the screen. African American viewers are finally able to see an image is more like what they see in their own community. Black characters are no longer celluloid characters or the object of a joke or stereotype. The characters are defined by their own world and are central to that world. As Diawara explains, “Hollywood blacks exist primarily for white spectators whose comfort and understanding the films must seek.”(Diawara, 596)
The low budget production techniques lend to the relationship between reality and The Blood of Jesus. There is little to no camera angles that would distort the actual image. The amateur skill level of actors helps the film approach reality. Not necessarily the film itself, but the message that the film attempts to send to the audience. It is not only the message of black morality and faith, but also a message of black progress. Simply the creation of this film shows new mediums and opportunities opening up to African Americans. The Blood of Jesus, in this respect is truly art because of the comment it makes on the reality of the current state of Black culture and what it has done to shape that reality.
Fanon explains that there is a double standard in how films represent race. Stereotype in film creates the concept that the average man and a black man do not act in the same manner. The Blood of Jesus is able to accomplish showing African American that are defined by their own actions and abilities, rather than “being for others

No comments:

Post a Comment