CINÉMONDAYS WITH HARDIK
Dir. Jordan Peele
Last night, I went into the city to watch Jordan Peele’s Get Out with two of my friends from Lehman’s ACE program. I had picked the movie even without having watched the trailer. (There is so much I am afraid the trailer will spoil for you that to lead you toward it would be unfair, and I’d recommend you do what I did –– don’t watch the trailer, just go by your instinct and my words.) This choice was entirely based on the conversations, concerns, and reactions it seemed to have been stirring among viewers since it first released in late February.
Over the last few months, American politics has found itself especially off balance –– off the balance it so needs and had thought it had achieved under Obama and other able presidents. But while this new walk is frightening, the willingness among fellow Americans and other alliances to hold each other’s hands –– be empathetic and human really –– shows that “we shall overcome” this terror “some day.” There are those holding hands, and then there are also those who aren’t either willing or okay holding hands. Why is that? What is engaging them, what is the concern that engages them (if at all), or how safe/worthy is privilege if it blinds you of the reality the world seems to be facing?
Get Out mirrors the current and past (slave history, particularly) political atmosphere (read ‘horrors’) of America, and still manages to let the viewer escape the seriousness and urgency of our post-2016 reality.
It was only after I got out of the movie theater that I found myself being hit with a need to observe how everyone was reacting to it. I’m asking you to do the same: just observe those who have watched this movie, including yourself. These observations will give away more than the speaker will ever acknowledge/admit:
What bothered you? Anything?
Why is it funny? Why is it scary?
Where are you in this picture/conversation?
What is the conversation you will draw out of this?
What bothered your friend here?
What were your (both your friends’ and your) reactions? Your thoughts?
How are you approaching this?
The title might suggest otherwise (in this context), but “get in” today’s –– it really goes beyond just being political –– conversation, no matter how frustrating or scary (or maybe irrelevant, that is, if you believe so or get to enjoy the kind of privilege) its daily in-the-face-ness is for you.
~ Hardik Yadav