Guess Who’s Off The Hook: Inventing Interracial Coupling In Global Art Cinema

Jayson Baker


Black Studies scholar and critic, bell hooks, offers many insightful analyses of American life in her book Outlaw Culture. hooks levels a quick claim that Americans “have to go to films outside America to find any vision of redemptive love in films that depict interracial relationships, but she doesn't provide an analysis of a foreign film to illustrate her accusation. This work seeks to utilise hooks race theories to interrogate constructions of interracial relationships in select global art cinemas, particularly how these movies seek to understand postcolonial violations, transnational migration, and globalisation anxieties in Jean Luc Godard's Le Petit Soldat (1960), Tomas Guterrez Alea's Memories of Underdevelopment, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974). Framing this discussion is the forty-year span between the release of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Guess Who, which depict interracial coupling between a black male and white female in the late sixties and a white male and black female in 2005. Analysing the use of race in global cinema may allow American audiences the necessary critical distance to see how ‘other’ movies construct interracial relationships to instigate a form cultural atonement, an agenda hooks sees absent in American film yet fails to prove in foreign film.


Film Theory; Aesthetics; Cinema; Film Studies; Race; Politics

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