Coming back to an earlier posting of mine, where I suggested that a
difference between (1) plots which figure a character of one race who is or
isn't romantically entangled with one from another,
(2) films where a character of one race is cast with an actor of another,
I would like to come back to (2) and raise the question why it is supposed
to be "good" if the race of the character and the actor converge?
It is an argument which is sometimes raised against imperialism et al.,
that, whatever character from another race shows up in a Hollywood-film
(gross-simplification-mode-on...), it is invariably played by a white actor.
Therefore, Hollywood is racist, and that's why foreign films (esp. Asian,
African) are not widely known & spread in the U.S.
As somebody recently argued, there might be a need of a well-founded
historical perspective on this, and I am definitely not in the position to
However, why is it "good" if actors and characters are of the same race?
Does this assumption not represent a rather romantic notion about the
"authenticity" of film as such, or its "realism"? If a film depicts a
character who is aging, we certainly do not expect the actor to be aging, as
well, but if a film depicts an Asian character, we naturally (?) presuppose
that the actor is Asian, too. I am not stating an opinion here, I would just
like to question the "natural" character of this presupposition.
Institute for Indian Philosophy
University of Hiroshima
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