Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The White Saviour in Movies

There are lots and lots (and lots and lots), of movies out there that use a common theme - a white wo/man helps the native (backward) people/person, and saves them from a terrible situation. S/he becomes a white saviour - its a common colonial theme, which can be very subtle. Think Avatar, The Secret Life of Bees, Blood Diamond, The Blind Side, Out of Africa, District 9 and so on.

Here is a video that shows the common themes these movies share - meeting the native people, realising that they need White peoples help, a white saviour rescuing them, and the natives gratitude at being saved.

 I think this theme is used a lot in movies, even as sub-themes, that are so subtle we are often not aware of it. I'm trying to think of a movie that reverses this theme - natives realising that White people are doomed and need their help, saving the white people, and showing the White people that their native ways are superior. I can't think of any. I am however, by no means a movie buff, so there may be some out there...?

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