The Stories Hollywood Doesn’t Tell – How the Structure of the Film Industry Marginalizes Narratives of Minorities & Women
By Jonathan Donald Jenner
The #oscarssowhite and #oscarsstillsowhite not just because the academy snubs the contributions of non-white actors, writers, and directors who have excelled in a particular year, but also because of the many films that are never made by minorities and women. Behind the film industry in Hollywood sits financial power whose whiteness, masculinity, and money is reflected both in the stories that are told and in those that are not told. Telling stories that are everyone’s stories requires thinking through and beyond the power structures which shape Hollywood. Here are some anecdotes, some facts, and some implications for building an inclusive cinema.
Oliver Law’s true hero life story reads like a made-for-Hollywood film synopsis:
Son of West Texas and Army veteran Oliver Law becomes radicalized in Depression era Chicago, and joins the Abraham Lincoln Brigades to fight the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, quickly rising to become a battalion commander (the first African American to lead an integrated military unit), before being killed in Boadilla del Monte as the battle for Castille raged on, whose memory lived on as a martyr for the Spanish Republic.
This film does not exist, even though Paul Robeson attempted to make it. Read more