This was the sad reality of America in the 1960s and 70s. The film “Remember the Titans”, directory by Boaz Yankin is a film focused on the major social problem of racism. Every scene in the movie displayed racism and showed how it affects everyone. The film, based on a true story, is about events which occurred in 1971 and focuses on the racial attitudes and tensions of the football team at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. During 1971, federal laws were passed that required schools to desegregate within the South.
These federal laws forced T.C. Williams High School, a white only school, to allow African Americans to attend school there. The titans football team, previously coached by the white Bill Yoast is now coached by the Black coach .The struggles that arise from the racial diversity are profound. But Coach Boone, and his white coach, Yoast defy the odds and overcome the race barrier, to win the state championships. This film uses several visual and oral film techniques that helped me to understand the important idea of overcoming racism. Both cinematography and the motif of windows, helped me to see the progress that was made in overcoming racism and also have me a better understanding of the life, ignorance, and narrow mindedness black Americans had to endure in the 60s and 70s.
Using the visual techniques of the motifs of windows I was able to become attentive of the existing barrier between the two races and how significant it was during the 1970’s .We are first introduced to this motif when Boone and his family are moving into the white neighbourhood. Through the window of a white family’s house we see a point of view shoot looking through a murky and shadowy window on a black family who are moving into the neighbourhood. “Are they are movers” introduced me to the perspective of the white person in this period of time. I immediately see the lack of equality and the preconceived idea the white people had about the black. The narrow-mindedness and ignorance is clear as the white community are not used to the social and political change.
The murky feel of the atmosphere demonstrates a sense of mistrust against Boone and his family, again, linking to the preconceived idea of the white person as Boone and his family have not done anything wrong. A claustrophobic feel is also evident when windows created a framing effect against the blacks, representing how close minded the white community could be. The integration was not going to sit well with the hometown folks who are not used to a change, they did not want to adapt to this kind of change. Windows motifs were not only used to represent the barrier between races but is also included into the film to show how racism is overcome we can see through Mrs. Bertier getting to know Julius a black member of the TC Williams football team by not only hugging Julius but by letting him past her barrier and therefore into her life, this reinforces the idea of Jerry/Gerry being brother sharing the same mother which links to the ending “can’t you see the family resemblance, he is my brother”
This shows two beings of different colour respecting each other’s opinions about the matter of race. Normally for Gerry through the views and observations of his parents, teachers, and friends’ behaviours, negative attitudes were acquired. He learned the behaviour of prejudice and discrimination was the appropriate social norms to follow. Now this has been overcome. Mrs. Bertier made an important step in creating a change in Society by accepting Julius into her life. Change is necessary to keep relationships. If someone is too full of pride to admit that they are wrong, then they will feel a growing malice towards the one who is right. Gerry and his mother were mentally able to see past the race of Julius and see into the soul of him. Through the window motif I was able to see how racism was overcome was worth learning about in remember the titans. I now know what is keeping the races apart. The window barrier represented fear, and it was fear anf ignorance that kept the blacks and white from uniting as one. The window motif also helped me to realise that it only takes one person to change their views, and other people will follow.
Cinematography was another technique which helped me to understand the important idea of overcoming racism. We see this technique at the beginning of the movie, we see the community of Alexandria in an uproar due to a young African American being killed by a white person. African Americans and whites surrounded the shop where the young teenager was killed to protest his death. They are all screaming, shouting, and throwing stuff at one another while the cops try to keep the two ethnic groups separated. See the violence and hatred…black people were brave enough for their beliefs, racism ruled the life’s of many people. We see cinematography, just after the school is integrated, shot of Boone walking a line between the races. As he walks, we can see the black players and see that Boone was strong and independent and would show the people a new way of life.
I realize the importance of people such as Boone, such strong independence. Cinematography was also used in the hospital scene to show the important of the idea of overcoming racisms. Shots of them holding hands, black and white united. This symbolises the coming together of the winning game of Boone and Yoast both holding the game ball. The American community felt good because they were finally beginning to treat them equally. They felt that they now had a voice. When the football team won the regional division and the state title the people realized that a black man can do the same thing as the white man. Both of these shots helped me to understand the importance of racism, by helping me to realise that unity equals strength and the world followed the examples of the Titans. United Society is a successful society.
The arrival of African slaves, sold in the plantations of colonial America, definitely triggered a superior-inferior relationship and mentality between “the whites” and “the blacks”. This present-day culture, resulting from a society of masters and slaves, has struggled against central concepts deeply rooted in the nations past .With strong cultural values on racial discrimination; the path towards the concept of racism in America was a vital moment in the course of the nation’s history. Social concepts and attitudes could not be altered overnight, but it can be altered. Indeed, in the quest for social progress, the struggle for equality has gone a long way, with black Americans now holding high-ranking positions in specialized fields in government and society.
Remember the Titans demonstrated the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. It personifies the power of respect, care and desire to win prevailing over racial prejudice. It showcases how individuals from diversified color, background and culture rose from the occasion and became lifelong friends. The fight for equality and the demolition of racism has been an extremely significant fight. The school’s integration in the summer of 1971, eventually led to individual change in many of the members of the community. The film portrays how people may change on a social or political level but not on an individual level.
Martian Luther king JR. Had a dream that all men would be treated equally regardless of the colour their skin. The film remember the titans illustrates how difficult it is for a community to not only make social or political changes, but changes as individuals, most people are ignorant and narrow minded when making choices and this influences other people to do the same people often stay with the majority instead of the minority in order to feel safe and out of harm’s way. The director is trying to demonstrate that a person’s perspective and way of thinking may not change along with social or political issues.