None of us is surprised to reaffirm that the Hollywood awards season never brings very good news for racial or gender justice. At the Golden Globes we saw people of color consistently overlooked, Jared Leto celebrated for playing a trans woman (who apparently can’t be real), and the worship of a child molester, Woody Allen.
But the Oscar nominations are out, and things are getting worse. One of our favorite blogs, Native Appropriations, run by one of our favorite people, Adrienne Keene, has an important take-down of two nominations.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Lone Ranger
If you remember, The Lone Ranger is basically 149 minutes of Johnny Depp running around in the equivalent of “red face.” Dressed as the fictional character Tonto, Depp is supposed to be playing a Native American. However, many people, including many Native Americans, found his costume to be pretty darn offensive. So really, as Native Appropriations points out, this nomination is celebrating someone having done a very good job at being very racist.
“Best Song”: “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone
Now, Alone Yet Not Alone is a film that should have died in the straight to DVD category. But unfortunately, the Oscars insured that it didn’t by nominating it, and now we have to talk about the horrible racism and poor film making that is this feature. To save myself from the feminist rage that boils within me, I shall direct you straight to Native Appropriation’s original post, and the lovely movie synopsis they have highlighted for us.
The year is 1755, and the English colonies are being ravaged by the atrocities of war. Opposing European powers have clashed over the fertile Ohio valley, and entire families are devastated by the ensuing violence. Hostile native tribes are raiding the vulnerable frontier farms, and two young sisters are among those taken captive. While hoping for rescue and return to their home, they are comforted with the words of a family hymn: Alone Yet Not Alone. But when the sisters are suddenly and cruelly separated, their tender faith is brought to a stretching point. Forcibly immersed into a primitive foreign culture, the older sister, Barbara, clings to her beliefs. Yet now a deeper fate threatens, and she makes a difficult decision: to risk her life in an attempt to escape. Pursued by a relentless and cunning warrior, Barbara and her three fellow captives must cross over two hundred miles of raw wilderness in their effort to reach friendly territory. Will their courage and trust in God be enough to see them through? And if they do succeed, will they find their family? Will Barbara ever see her sister again? Alone Yet Not Alone depicts the riveting true story of a family at a critical juncture in our nation’s history.
If that doesn’t convince you, check out this trailer.
Juliana just can’t.