Saturday, June 19, 2010

Movies Not Historically Inaccurate Enough Say Race Baiters

Some people really are too stupid to breathe: recently featured a commentary titled, “Another White Actress to Play Cleopatra?” where the writer opined, “Honestly, I don't care how full Angelina Jolie's lips are, how many African children she adopts, or how bronzed her skin will become for the film, I firmly believe this role should have gone to a Black woman.”

First of all Egyptians in general are at least as close to white people as to black people in terms of their physical appearance, in fact probably closer. Secondly Cleopatra was not a typical Egyptian as she was part of the ruling Ptolemic dynasty and would therefore have been ethnically Greek. The only thing that should disqualify Angelina Jolie from playing Cleopatra is that the queen was actually a bit of a munter to be honest.

This is what happens when the branch of pseudohistory that is Afrocentrism enters the mainstream.


Mark Wadsworth said...

You're all missing the point.

As beautiful as AJ may be (and she does not look entirely white to me), she does not look Egyptian or Greek. Why not give the role to an actress who looks a bit Egyptian or Greek?

Ross said...

How does she look unGreek?

JuliaM said...

She does have an indefinable 'ethnic' quality to her. I think she'd make a pretty good Cleopatra (if on the old side).

Anonymous said...

I think we are making the mistake of thinking that Greeks like Cleo would look like Greeks today.

I suspect that she would have been much fairer than a modern Greek.

Modern Greece was under Turkish Ottoman rule for a long time, plenty of time for swarthy Turkish genes to sneak into the Greek population.

Be interesting to know if anyone has ever studied this.

Yaffle said...

I think I heard that ancient and modern Romans don't look much alike either. Likewise, Egypt's modern population is descended largely from Arab conquerors of the 7th century AD.

BTW Ross, how so Cleo a "munter"?

Ross said...

Yaffle, I'd be very surprised if Egypt's population is descended from the Arab conquerers.

I say she's a munter because the contempory busts that were made of her suggest that she was and had a huge nose.

James Higham said...

Dear Ross, I'm as black as the ace of spades and no one's ever asked me to do Cleopatra.


Anonymous said...

You all do know it is acting?
Why should reality come into it?
NB Donald duck doesn't really look like a real duck.

Edwin Greenwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edwin Greenwood said...

Personally, I think the role ought to go to Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Put him in a wig and a toga and he'd fit the part perfectly.

Ross said...

Anon- yes it's acting but if it is purporting to be a biopic then some level of realism ought to be there.

Anonymous said...

This issue touches on the problem of realistic racial casting.

The rule to observed is, from a white pov:

Whats ours is theirs, whats theirs is theirs.

So, any role traditionally, or for historical accuracy, seen as white can also be played by a black. Because its all about acting ability, nothing else. Got that, you racist?

Otoh, any role traditionally, or for historical accuracy, seen as black must be played by a black. For a white to black up for a part is insultingly racist, for them to steal a black role and make it white is disempowering for blacks, its racist. Got that, you racist?