Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen?

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I was tagged by Iowa Prof Angela Onwuachi-Willig at blackprof.com for an end-of-semester diversion: blog about the worst movie I’ve ever seen.   Here are two:

Cold Mountain and American Pie.

American Pie – as it turns out, uploading a live video feed of a naked foreign exchange student without her knowing to all your friends and neighbors is, well, not that funny. But Im old fashioned that way. A friend recommended it to my partner and I several years ago as a good “date movie.” I guess sometimes friends don’t know you too well. Moreover, though I don’t know many 16 year old boys, I find it hard to believe they are as blindly hormone driven as the movie makes them out to be, though wrapping that caricature in comedy gives them ample excuse for behaving like a buffoon.

Cold Mountain . . . what can I say. One scene in particular stands out. If I remember this correctly, Jude Law’s character comes upon a weeping slave owner in the woods trying to dispose the body of his deceased female slave. She is lovingly wrapped in blankets and the slave owner is heartbroken at the loss of a woman he loved and cared for so deeply. Did I mention slave  . . . and slave owner?   As if the scene  were not bad enough, the movie failed to counterbalance its apologetic misrepresentation of  the master-slave relationship  with  scenes that more accurately portray the pathological abuse white slave masters exhibited towards female slaves.  

Reminded me of a trip I took with my family to D.C. in the fourth grade. On a tour of various battle grounds our guide pointed out a cotton plantation in Virginia.   Slaves worked the plantation, she told us, but life for them wasn’t half bad. After all, they didn’t have to pay for their food or clothing, and the cotton they picked was far from the big-house where the master spent most of his day, leaving slaves free to frolic under the sun not really working too hard after all.

Sigh . . . so many stereotypes, so little time.

I tag my fellow Feminist Law Profs, along with Drexel Prof Emily Zimmerman and Illinois Prof Christine Hurt at the Conglomerate.org.

Kathleen A. Bergin


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