First Look At Gerard Butler, Souleymane Sy Savane In "Machine Gun Preacher"

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 25, 2011 2:12 AM
16 Comments
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This flick come up in conversation during the last Shadow And Act Livecast.

A few days ago, Relativity Media announced that it has acquired North American rights from Lionsgate to theatrically release the film, which stars Gerard Butler, and Souleymane Sy Savane whom most will remember from 2008's Goodbye Solo.

Titled Machine Gun Preacher, the film is based on the true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker who finds faith leading him on a path to East Africa. Shocked by the mayhem in Sudan, Childers becomes a crusader for hundreds of refugee children, and in the process, restores peace to their lives and eventually his own.

All hail the white man! How does he do it?

The film is set to hit screens in Los Angeles and New York on September 23rd, and will expand to other cities afterward.

Maybe Gerard Butler is vying for an Oscar with this role.

Anyway... the above image is your first official look of the two stars of the film. I'm sure you can figure out who's who. I'm sure a trailer will surface soon.

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16 Comments

  • gardnlady1 | July 27, 2011 10:32 AMReply

    Laura, you are right, I am from a whole different head space. As I am an old white lady, that is a given.

    When I made that comment about a black criminal versus a white criminal I was issuing a challenge, not making a point.

    Very few white criminals become good guys! Sam Childers did, and he did good things (well, he killed people to accomplish these things) by violent means. Whether he was right or wrong to act in that way, as an alleged "man of god" may be a good question.

    What I would like to see is black people breaking out of the failed "tropes" that represent old thinking. I am surrounded regularly in real life and in media examples of successful, undamaged black guys. I do not buy into the damaged black dude trope. I love reality shows based on Cops, Jails, etc. Large numbers of the officers I see are black and hispanic. Same for many of our military heroes.

    Lots of black politicians at county, city, and state and federal levels. I hate these old tropes as you call them that black and white people buy into. I used to work in the legal profession, and that included black lawyers and judges, so give me a break!

    Sick to death of racist thinking, no matter who utters it. WE are all one people, and everyone of us can help, our variation makes no diffence (white and black are variations only, not races, scientifically).

    Our planet is sick and getting sicker, due to human behavior. We need to work together to combat pollution, increased heat, lack of water, etc, that are predicted in the next few decades. We all need new tropes and not remain stuck in the old ones.

  • Laura | July 26, 2011 11:02 AMReply

    @other song

    As I said in my post below:

    "So while you arguing about a tired and ran-to-death film trope. I bet some of the NEW commenters are coming from a whole ‘nother orientation."

    and gardnlady1 quote proves my point about my above state of how sister fall for the D(amage) B(eyond) R(epair) Black Men/Great White Savior dichotomy:

    to quote gardnlady1:

    "By the way, leaving the subject of a white criminal who became religious…how many black criminals got a religious conversion and went over there to work in a violent situation? Give me a list."

    She is from a whole different head space.

  • gardnlady1b | July 26, 2011 6:24 AMReply

    Sorry, this seems to be a dead end subject. Neither of us understands what the other is saying. I do not think MGP comes under the rubric of "white savior" a term that is nearly as old fashioned and empty as racist polemics; you believe it has viability.

    There is no common ground for discussion. My best to you.

  • other song | July 26, 2011 3:49 AMReply

    Gardnlady,

    I'm not sure you're familiar with the term "white savior", particularly applied to film over decades (and dozens of films, if not hundreds)

    I suggest you read up on that. then come back and discuss.

  • gardnlady1 | July 26, 2011 1:41 AMReply

    Patiently: As I said, colonials from Europe r/p/d Africa.. further... the Native American people in the New world were destroyed...idiotic beliefs in "superiority" of one group over another helped propel all this destruction, in addition to greed for resources.

    Racism exists; it should not, as it has no basis in science. People are all one kind, just variations on a theme.

    Racism and greed are two of the reasons for chaos in the Sudan. Help the children, and I do not care about skin color. So this was a real guy, helping kids, the best he knew how (in a violent world, a violent man), who happened to be white.

    If whites mess it up, shouldn't they be the ones to clean it up? Lots of Africans are making their own way, and working to make things better.

    By the way, leaving the subject of a white criminal who became religious...how many black criminals got a religious conversion and went over there to work in a violent situation? Give me a list. We are talking about one individual, a real person, not a character made up for a movie, who had an unusual experience. He does not stand for white savior, black experience etc. Just a bad dude with one good streak in him.

    In the view of racists (of all colors), apparently Jesus should have preached only to jews, fand saved only Jews, and not given his message to all people regardless of color.

  • violet | July 25, 2011 12:53 PMReply

    God bless anyone doing anything to help someone else. I don't care what color and I look forward to more important movies about people helping people. Period. Right now, I'm excited to see this film and one of my favorite actors, Souleymane Sy Savane from Goodbye Solo. He looks to have completely morphed into a different character judging by this photo. I am willing to give this film a chance.

  • Truth | July 25, 2011 10:21 AMReply

    @ gardnlady:

    If race was an antiquated concept:

    A) The raping of Africa would not continue. Colonial whites may have left physically but they still have their feet on African necks for resources.

    B) Your statement on movies about black people helping other black people would never have popped up if you thought race was antiquated. You know it and see it like we all do

    C) Sure it would be great to live in a world that race was a non-factor but thats not reality. Non-white and white children suffer all over the world but you will rarely see a film where a single non-white person takes action to save the day.

  • other song | July 25, 2011 9:11 AMReply

    race is an antiquated concept when it's convenient for white people to not deal with the problems they caused.

    I get your sentiment gardnlady1, but Truth makes more sense.

    and if you don't think there's a disproportional representation of white people in media as opposed to other minorities (not just Blacks), especially in the 'hero' category, you're just not living in reality.

  • gardnlady1 | July 25, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    I accidentally deleted my comment...oh well... I did not initially know this site was dedicated to black actors/films; I was searching for MGP references.

    Sam Childers is a real guy, and a real bada//. A biker, drug user, who had a religious conversion. He is white, so he had to be played as a white guy. He is more of an anti-hero than a white savior, as he is not very nice in person, either. Still a biker mentality.

    When I say racism is antiquated, I do not mean it is gone. It is not. I just mean that it should be. Science no longer even uses the terms, except for statistical reasons. Every human on the earth came from Africa in various migrations over 50,000 years ago.

    They were changed by the environment they migrated to (you need a lighter skin for northern climates for example, to better absorb Vitamin D from the sun).

    I pay no attention to an individual's race, just their behavior as it relates to me and mine.

    Many African countries have improved their lot (not all of course) on their own and now move forward without white help, just doing business as equals with whites. check out Botwsana. building good education and infrastructure.

    Gerard started out on the stage in Scotland, about 15 years ago, did some Scottish indie films before coming to Hollywood and doing some good and some not so good films. I liked him in Phantom, Rocknrolla, and In 300. Also, Dracula 2000.

    As to black women and their interest in Gerard, my dear this is a world wide phenomenon. There are fan clubs in nearly every country, all shades of women. No one quite knows why...there are hundreds of videos by women of every color and language, putting pics of Gerard on Youtube to music.

    Must be something about a 6'2" Scottish warrior.... :)

  • gardnlady1 | July 25, 2011 5:24 AMReply

    I understand the frustration ( I may not feel its depth, but I understand), that the stories of black people helping black people are not told. Hotel Rwanda is an exception, I think.

    In this case, Sam Childers is not a nice guy, even today. He still carries the biker persona, and he just saw a need and felt it had to be done.

    The colonial whites left a huge mess in Africa. They stole from it, r//ped it, and left the African people with no infrastructure and no intact cultures.

    Despite that, I usually do not see things along racial lines, because I think race isan antiquated concept (sorry if it is important to you). This is a human person helping other humans, who were destroyed and left without hope by yet a third set of humans. Any human, regardless of color would rage at the chaos left behind by colonial Europeans.

    The children should be helped, and to h//l with the adults of any color who put them in this situation.

  • JMac | July 25, 2011 4:32 AMReply

    @ j breakwater: Jeff Johnson touched on those issues during the Iraq war and also on how the descendents of black slaves there are still treated like second class citizens. I think he was supposed to write a book about it. So yep, gotta include Arabs too but then Hollywood has never portrayed them as saviors so it's not really germane to this conversation.

  • JMac | July 25, 2011 4:20 AMReply

    I love it when people say race doesn't matter or they don't see race. If that were true, why are you visiting a black film blog? Because you love all film and need a place to find info on black films/filmmakers that aren't covered by mainstream press. Why can't you find this info (or as much info) on mainstream press? Why does it matter that you can't? If you don't care about race, why are you interested in black films and/or black actors at all? You should be good with whatever Hollywood and certain well known Indie film festivals provide, right? Black film blogs shouldn't even exist.

  • j. breakwater | July 25, 2011 3:56 AMReply

    Does white colonialism includes the Arabs who invaded parts of Africa and who brought in the Islamist extremism which is causing problems in parts of Africa today? Who in fact invented the African slave trade, a fact many like to forget, because Islam allows the victor to take slaves, including sexual slaves as their spoils of war. The white colonials aided by many Africans who sold their own race out just did it bigger and better later and they were interested in the male slaves whilst the Arabs were not. As long as the father of a child is Arab, the blood line is not "tainted" apparently. According to a black history site, the Arabs would castrate the male slaves and if they lived, which most didn't, then they were enslaved. In fact Sudan is a great example of Arab/Islamist based racism vs blacks, Jews and Christians. Check the history.

  • Mecca | July 25, 2011 3:54 AMReply

    Ugh! another white saviour film brough to you by Hollywood WHY?? I don't understand the obsession w/ whites saving African-Americans? *scratching head* It is so perplexing to me. I guess, they think a film can't be "successful" without a white lead. smh

    Do you know how many white saviour films take place in Africa? "Invictus", "Mandalay", "Last king of Scotland", etc.

    I have a bit of an issue w/ missionaries visiting places like; Africa, South America, Caribbean and anywhere overseas. Especially, white missionaries from U.S/U.K and other places with conqueror/imperialist histories.

  • Laura | July 25, 2011 2:27 AMReply

    @ Truth
    It is interesting to see the reactions to the critique about white savior. It seems like gardnlady1 is rationalizing or justify the perpetuation of that trope.

    However I suspect is has nothing to do with the story but more to do with the actor who is playing the white savior - Gerard Butler.

    There is a website I came across 2 years ago called "Gerard Butler After Dark". It was a blog by and for sistas who are big time fans of the actor. Now it's nothing wrong with being a fan of an actor whatever color or gender. (personally I like fellow Aussie Keith Urban a whole lot better. He was hitting all cylinders as Bones in Star Trek)

    However, a lot of the fans on the site are sistas who subscribe to the theory of DBR Black Men/Great White Knight. I'll let you look that up. There are a whole lot of sistas in the blogsphere who subscribe to that. In their minds there is nothing wrong with the idea of the great white savior because they subscribe to it. So while you arguing about a tired and ran-to-death film trope. I bet some of the NEW commenters are coming from a whole 'nother orientation.

  • Sharp | July 25, 2011 2:12 AMReply

    Sam Childers is a real person who continues to go where other's have not to help those who need it. He happens to be white. Get over it.

    As for the statement "Maybe Gerard Butler is vying for an Oscar with this role." Are you trying to appear prescient? I don't know if he's "vying" for it or not but he's already been touted in the press as having given an Oscar worthy performance by those who've seen the film. Time will tell.

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