Remember the Titans

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Category: Music and Cinema

Date Submitted: 09/20/2011 08:21 AM

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The film Remember the Titans, directed by Boaz Yakin influences the viewer to critique colonial ideologies as it evident throughout the film that African-Americans are being heavily discriminated against in the patriarchal society of Alexandria, Virginia. This critique is realized by the way characters, setting, themes, codes and conventions are all used to portray the representation of race.

This true story is set in 1971 in the southern states of America where there were on going racial problems. We soon learn that one black and one white school have been shut down and are relocated to T.C. Williams High School under federal mandate to integrate to try and combat the previous segregation. There are immediate problems with this as the white community try to discourage the integration through strikes and violence and we the viewer respond negatively to their actions as the marginalized African-American society have not evidently done anything to be deserving of this treatment. Additionally a main character, Gerry Bertier, quotes in the opening scenes “I don’t want to play with any of those black animals” and through this he attempts to dehumanize the black community by portraying them as primitive and henceforth removes their identity.

Coach Boone, played by Denzel Washington, who is the protagonist but also the under dog, is established as a figure who is determined to bring about change. He challenges the perceived negative stereotype of an African-American as he is well educated and well presented. There is an important scene where Coach Boone is empowered as he had just been appointed the only black Head Coach of the high school, succeeding Coach Yoast, and the black community has all turned up at the front of his house applauding him in his unprecedented appointment. One of the fathers of a potential player quotes “you’re like an answer to our prayers” portraying him as a savior to the black community and that the community is hopeful that this...