THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Pot? Or Kettle? Spike Lee Accused Of Hypocrisy By Italians!

First Spike and Clint slog it out. Now an Italian enters the fray with the suggestion that Lee himself is guilty of cultural stereotyping! The adventure continues...

From the UK Guardian:


Just as it looked like the war of words between Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood was dying down, someone chucks in a grenade... now Bill Dal Cerro, president of the Italic Institute of America based in Rome, has accused Lee of the prejudices he attributes to Eastwood.

"Spike Lee is very talented," he said. "His points about African-Americans are well taken, but, ironically, he does the same thing to Italians in his films."


The Italic Institute of America has criticized Lee in the past for his portrayal of Italian-Americans in Do The Right Thing and Jungle Fever, and expressed concern about Miracle at St Anna, Lee's upcoming second world war drama set in Italy.

Does Dal Cerro have a point? Or is this just shameless coat-tailing, an undignified attempt to claim victim status?

3 comments:

  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...
     

    Of course Dal Cerro has a point.

    We're all guilty, at some time or another, of stereotyping other groups - taking their worst attributes and blowing them up to be their main/only attributes.

    I'm pretty sure that not every Italian-American would beat up their daughter or sister for dating a black guy, for instance, even though I'm sure there are some that would.

    I'm not Italian or Italian-American so I'd never really thought about it. But I'm a woman, a black woman and, even though I'm not African-American, I think many would agree that Mr Lee's portrayal of women is often a little stilted, shallow, two-dimensional...

    Of course, this doesn't mean that Spike isn't justified in making his criticism of Clint's war related movies.

    It's all swings and roundabouts, really. I bet that if Eastwood, Lee and Dal Cerro were to each come up with a premise for a story about Africans there'd be stereotyping a-plenty from all three of them. Of course, unless (and maybe even, if) an African pointed this out to them, they'd all feel righteously secure in their portrayals.

    C'est la vie.

  2. The Obenson Report said...
     

    Yup!

    I'm waiting to see if Spike responds to Dal Cerro's criticism, and if he does, how he will. It'll be crucial for obvious reasons.

  3. albertine said...
     

    Shame on Spike if he used his public verbal spat with Clint Eastwood to help publicize his film. That's what I've been reading and I hope it wasn't his intent, because it makes it hard to take his criticisms seriously.

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