Theme Of Racism In The Intouchables

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A poor, black man from the banlieue of France enters the world of a wealthy, white Parisian businessman – their lives represent opposite ends of the spectrum, and yet by a twist of fate, they form an inspiring relationship. The Intouchables is a story that follows Driss, the poor Senegalese immigrant, who by an unlikely chance came to be the caregiver of Philippe, the extremely rich aristocrat in which a paragliding accident left him quadriplegic. These two men are both pariahs of society: one via paralysis, trapped in the prison that is his body, and the other through classism and the lack of support that left him isolated on the fringes of Parisian suburbs. Despite this similarity, they nonetheless possess stark contrasts phenotypically and…show more content…
According to Erik Bleich, author of ‘Anti-racism without Races’, France today is “color-blind” in terms of official discourse, legislation and policy as the country refuses to recognize racial difference or to allow race to play a role in decisions at the state level. However, “color-blindness” of everyday situations still does not entirely reflect that of “color-blindness” at the public policy level. Nevertheless, The Intouchables barely paints race as an issue explicitly. In the film, Philippe and his staff are not reluctant to hire Driss because he’s of another race but because he doesn’t have proper training as a caretaker, has poor manners and uses disturbing language. Philippe’s friend who also questioned his decision in hiring Driss tried to talk Philippe out of it (34:50), though he did this due to Driss’ criminal record as Driss was just recently released from…show more content…
The mise-en-scène of The Intouchables effectively demonstrates the evident contrast between Driss and Philippe. Décor and setting was of the most significant, especially in terms of the bathrooms in Philippe’s house as well as Driss’ apartment. The size of the bathtub in Philippe’s mansion is evidently bigger than the bathtub in Driss’ apartment, as we can see that Driss cannot even have his legs outstretched in his own bathtub but instead is crouching with his legs to his chest (14:10), hence signifying their clear difference in class. Costumes worn by Driss and Philippe also amplifies the distinctions between them, for example in the scene when they were at the Opera theatre, Driss was wearing a leather jacket with a hoodie and jeans, whereas Philippe and the people around Driss in the theatre were dressed in suits and formal dresses (55:48), demonstrating that these people are undeniably more wealthy than Driss, and under regular circumstances, he would not have fit in their

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