Tyrel: Speak Up, by Josh Long

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3 Responses

  1. FictionIsntReal says:

    “Despite what you might hear from some of society’s louder voices, awareness of racism in its many forms is growing in the United States.”
    I can’t recall the last time I heard someone loudly proclaiming that awareness of racism was declining.

    I’ve sometimes had similar thoughts about foreign filmmakers making films about America, but then many of them have been well received here, including by me. I also recall there was some controversy about a New Yorker like Spike Lee making Chi-Raq, which I enjoyed, but then I suppose despite being a Chicagoan I’m not all that knowledgeable about my city (although I also made many allowances for it being an adaptation of an ancient Greek play).

  2. ABC says:

    It sounds like you wanted some pretentious monologue about race or some explosive racist moment to occur, so that this movie would register as important in your feeble mind. Well, that’s not what happens most of the time in real life. In reality, most racism is low-key and annoying. It often isn’t addressed by the victim because if the victim does something about it, they risk being seen as weak/sensitive or race-obsessed/crazy. They can also end up escalating the situation into a big fight and make things worse.

    The beauty of the movie is that it’s about a guy who is caught in a catch 22. The reason the group didn’t go out of their way to be nice to him is because they assumed he was cool and he wasn’t sensitive. So if he wants to be apart of the gang, he has to put up with the racist remarks that are annoying. If he calls them out on it, then they apologize, treat him with kid’s gloves, and distance himself from them.

    So he can either be a slightly alienated friend or someone who is completely alienated. He chose the former.

    Tyler decided to drink enough so he would feel more relaxed and he could try to be one of the boys. But after a certain point he just couldn’t take the atmosphere anymore. He was upset because he was just trying to blend in but he couldn’t because they kept bringing stuff up about him. No matter how close he tried to get to them, his race always ended up being the element that still alienated him. He took the high road and it was still to harsh to travel. He tried to leave and his emotions came out full force because he was very drunk. No matter what, he knew that the best case scenario for him involved putting up with their bullshit and they weren’t even aware of how wrong they are.

    The ending shot captured what it’s like being the black friend in a group full of obnoxious white people perfectly. Even if you’re in the picture, you’re still an outsider and will have to deal with what comes with that.

    The point of the film that the filmmaker was trying to say was that in 2018, this is what most racism looks like. It’s low-key, obnoxious, very annoying, and is often done by people who consider themselves progressive. And if you’re an outsider who wants to be apart of the group you will have to put up with their shit most of the time and will always be kept at a distance, even if it’s small. The fact that in this day and age, this is still as good as it gets, is why the film is poignant. The reason the film never becomes anything more than uncomfortable is because in the real world, it never does. It’s not as bad as it was, but it’s still kind of fucked up and it still keeps people at a distance. That was the point.

    To make it more explosive or melodramatic would completely negate the point of the film. It’s about a real, modern experience that hasn’t been shown this way before. And if you think it has then please name another movie that is a portrait of what the majority of actual racism looks like today.

    You mention, “any American high school student will have as much insight.” Well then why didn’t any of them or any of the 20, 30, 40, 50 something filmmakers in America who are oh so progressive, get a couple thousand dollars together and a camera and say it like the writer director of this film did? Why did it take a foreigner to come here and make it?

    Perhaps it’s because a story like this doesn’t make the racists people who whip-twirling slave masters or body snatchers. The racists are just people who say mean things and are completely oblivious to their offenses. They bash Trump for racism, but in truth, are just as bigoted. They don’t want to be called out on who they are, so they try to bash things like this film because they hold up mirrors to them.

    Chances are you’re either a slow-minded person that needs melodrama and heavy-handed sentiments to understand and appreciate a film. Or you’re low-key upset that this movie portrayed racists in a way that is very similar to you and your ilk.

    Either way you just don’t get it and you should probably stop regurgitating your opinion.

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