Mixed messages: ‘mixed race’ representations in film

Mixed messages: ‘mixed race’ representations in film

Concordia University
August 2004
124 pages

Naomi Angel

The growing interest in issues pertaining to mixed race identities and communities, as well as a surge in films with mixed race characters has prompted this examination of representations of mixed race characters in film from the 1950s to the present. The study consists of an analysis of selected films, including Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Jungle Fever, Dr. No, Showboat and Rabbit Proof Fence, and situates this analysis within a historical framework based on the particular context in which each film was set and/or made.

The value in studying ‘mixed race’ representations in film lies in the reflection it provides of significant moments in ‘mixed race’ histories, and in the portrayal of cultural imaginings of people of ‘mixed race.’ By examining these representations, this thesis traces the development of ‘mixed race’ terminology, interrogates the history of anti-miscegenation law in the United States, and explores the sociological and commonsense views of ‘mixed race’ maladjustment in the early 1900s.

Read the entire dissertation here.

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