As a society there are a lot of qualities that men have been socialized to uphold when it comes to how they act or react, what they support, and what they suppress. This movie produces a harsh critique of male socialization early on and continues throughout the movie. For example, during one of the first scenes between Quincy and his parents, Quincy mimics his father’s belief that “can’t shouldn’t be in a man’s vocabulary” because if you say can’t you “ain’t a real man.” Mottos such as these are meant to instill resilience and confidence in young men, but instead they can be potentially damaging. Young men are taught that they are not allowed to fail, and it is not okay to be weak or vulnerable. With that being said, these societal pressures can affect a black man in a whole different way. Masculinity and blackness are intertwined in the black community in a way that if one is not masculine, it also that they somehow are not black.
The most effective aspect of this idea is that Quincy’s father portrays these traits as explicitly male. Men don’t quit. Men aren’t weak. This idea can lead one to believe that if these qualities are only related to men, then they cant be demonstrated through women, which is what Quincy ultimately thin...
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...cene is that these two are able to own up to their flaws. One person doesn’t get blamed. They are able to reconcile with each other even though the past is both painful and ever-present. The scenes at the end of this film are about basic respect and love between a man and a woman, and how those two things can trump the difficulties we face with one another. It is such a strong statement. What a deeply respectful film. What an amazing treatment of relationships, of race and gender.
I think more films such as this need to be made. Films where people of color are treated with dignity and respect. Films where women aren’t just tertiary characters, but where their wants, needs, and desires are fully explored and deemed just as important as a man’s. This kind of filmmaking is like a light at the end of the tunnel for an industry mostly focused on white male superheroes.
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