Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Indiegogo Campaign For 'Savage' - A Film Out To Challenge The 'White Savior Complex'

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act November 29, 2012 at 11:36PM

When I first the trailer for the new short film by filmmaker Wendy James called Savage, the first thing that came to mind was "Oh No! Not another white savior helps poor black people movie!'"
16
Savages

When I first saw the trailer for the new short film by filmmaker Wendy James called Savage, the first thing that came to mind was "Oh No! Not another white savior helps poor black people movie!'"

In fact I told the producer, Jasmyne Pope, that I think that our readers (including myself) are pretty sick of these films, but I was informed that, this was not the intention of James' film at all, but actually the opposite. It is a film that sets out to criticize and challenge that tired, old film cliche.

As James says herself, her film "takes a critical look at the ''white savior complex'' which we all know is alive and well in American cinema. Think about movies such as Dangerous Minds, The Blind Side, even the film Avatar. In the film Savage, we observe Sara Maris, an idealistic young white teacher (in a Brooklyn Bed-Stuy high school) , as she tries to optimistically ''save'' her black student, James. However, in this film we seek to question: who really is in need of saving? James never asks to be ´´saved´´. Might the white heroine actually have some prejudices and desires that should be scrutinized? The story we aim to tell with this film is a complex one, and we hope to promote discussion amongst our audience about White Privilege."

She went even farther to say that Savage is intended to be "a challenging piece. It’s about the way people perceive their world and their position in it. It’s also about the way this perception causes us to create boundaries for ourselves in our society, most specifically through categories of racial and class “otherness”. Sara’s perception of her own authority, both real and imaginary, affects every move she makes. In Savage, salvation is a strong theme. We’d like to challenge the viewer’s ideas of salvation and the “white saviour” trope. We highly agree with James Baldwin when he said, “salvation is a two-way street."

Well that's a relief, and I wish more films were made that set out to examine and take apart that worn out concept.

But frst, some backgorund on James herself (pictured below) who is an Afro-Latina, and who currently (and proudly) lives in the Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn neighborhood. A native of Los Angeles, she got her BFA in film at UCLA, and is currently working on her MFA in Film Directing at Columbia University. She's inspired by films made in the "neo-realist" style of post-war Italian directors such as Vittorio de Sica (Umberto D, The Bicycle Thief), Roberto Rossellini (Open City, Germany Year Zero), and the Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Amores Perros).

Currently there is an Indiegogo campiagn to raise $6,000 in 33 days to help pay for post-production and a few pick up shots. As James and her producer Pope say "as a couple of young black women making films, it hasn't been easy an easy road getting this film made, but we'll continue to strive to create meaningful and challenging work."

To contribite to their fundraising campaign go HERE.

Below is the trailer for the film.

Wendy James


Shadow & ActNewsletter