“Rosewood” is one of the famous films about racial discrimination. It was directed by John Singleton and produced by Jon Peters in 1997. The film is based on a real racial incident, which took place in Rosewood, Florida in 1923.. The movie shows the shameful episode of the town by portraying painful conditions of Afro-American people in racial violence (Maslin, 1997). This paper criticizes the movie and its main characters.
In “Rosewood”, Singleton presented a wrenching story that depicted a serious social issue that killed a lot of innocent people. Moreover, the director introduced various stereotypes and stock characters that increase the audiences’ interest in each scene. Additionally, Singleton made the film more realistic by inserting different old sceneries of American villages. Furthermore, he introduced the hero of the Rosewood called Mann, who came back home from the war and looked for a place to settle. Singleton also added various heartbreaking dialogues that take audiences’ attention, such as, “Nigger! That's just another word for guilty” (Maslin, 1997).
At the beginning, the director introduced a peaceful town Rosewood where both white and black people had been living for long time. Also, the film shows a well-off and happy black family. The head of the family Sylvester Carrier was a piano teacher. The white neighbors felt jealous that he owned a musical instrument. We also see Carrier’s mother, an old woman, who had various experiences with racial issues. Furthermore, Singleton introduced a white slutty married woman Fanny Taylor, who had affair with another man. Additionally, the movie portrayed some other white people, such as a greedy store owner Mr. Voight, who had a sexual relationship with his black clerk. Later, Singleton presented the main hero, who was known as Mann. He drew the Carrier’s family attention and fell in love with one of the young members, Scrappie (Maslin, 1997).
In the first scenes, most of the white and black people lived peacefully in Rosewood. However, this tranquility broke when the white woman Fanny Taylor was bitten by her lover, and she accused a black stranger for the situation. After this issue, the aggressive white males started to attack Afro-Americans. Singleton created the realistic violent scenes that showed brutal tortures and immense pains of black people. Also, the film showed various episodes of typical delicacy of aggressive white men. For example, they shook hands and took pictures in front Afro-Americans’ burning houses. Besides, Mr. Singleton showed three leading actors that helped children and women to escape from the town. Especially, Afro-Americans Rhames and Cheadle and a white man Voight worked hard to rescue the people from Rosewood (Maslin, 1997).
It is important to notice that “Rosewood” is one of the most successful films of late 20th century. It received various positive reviews from critics (Maslin, 1997). The movie was rated R by the authority because it includes various disturbing scenes, sexual violence, and racial attacks. Additionally, John Williams added heartbreaking music to attract the audience in emotional situations. Some critics believe that the film can create violence and aggression in specific communities. However, other experts consider that it presents a hidden tragic story of American history (Maslin, 1997).
In conclusion, “Rosewood” is one of the renowned movies of late 20th century. It is based on racial violence and real incident of the past. The director, John Singleton portrayed a realistic situation to attract various audiences. Also, the film “Rosewood” helps people to understand the pain and challenges of Afro-Americans of old times. The movie is an excellent piece of a realistic work with talented actors and outstanding directors.
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