Call me super-sensitive, but I do.
Columbia Pictures has just released the image for the poster for one of their major fall releases, Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks, directed by Paul Greengrass, which tells the true story of Captain Richard Phillips, the commander of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, who gave himself up as a hostage to Somali pirates to keep his crew from having to leave the ship with them.
But from the image, I get the feeling that the film should be called, either, Savage Darky on the Loose, or White Man’s Greatest Fear: Crazed Kneegows with Guns.
What message are they trying to convey with this poster?
And just what audience is the film trying to appeal to?
Shades of Birth of Nation - and that film is almost 100 years old, but still resonates today.
However, I should add that it’s interesting to note that this is the international poster for the film. The domestic, more politically correct poster, is a stark image from the film, of the silhouetted hijackers, climbing up the side of the ship. Unless you know the story, you might not even know that the hijackers were black men.
And considering that racial profiling is the topic du jour in the U.S., as if it doesn’t happen in Europe (yeah sure), no doubt, Columbia Pictures is being more careful not to fan the flames, so to speak
But why not use that poster for the film worldwide, instead of the "scary black guy" version for the overseas market? Scary black guys are a big box office draw in Istanbul? Who knew?
But then again maybe I’m just being super sensitive.
Both the international and domestic posters are below: