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January 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Michelle L. Murawski" <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 23 Jan 1994 14:23:39 -0500
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Just this past weekend I had an opportunity to see the movie Philadelphia.
While overall the movie painted a realistic picture of AIDS -- a picture I
think this nation needs desperately to see -- I did not agree with the
forwarded message that called the movie "flawless."  Actually, there were
two things in particular that I found rather, well, annoying.  The first
was the fact that in specific scenes the movie was BLATANTLY "preachy."
In one scene Denzel Washington's character even asks his doctor if he'll
give his baby daughter the disease, just because he shook the hand of a
man with AIDS.  Obviously, (and predictably) we hear the AIDS can only be
transmitted through bodily secretions, blood, etc.  I understand that
several people in this nation may not know this, and I suppose it's a good
way of educating, nonetheless, it drew me away from the plot of the movie
and I felt as if I was listening to a public service message.
        The second thing dealt with the portrayal of the gay community.
The movie tried to promote a new kind of understanding and tolerance of
homosexuals.  Hypocritically, however, the movie avoids any direct dealing
with the issue of homosexuality.  Sure, they talk about it in the courtroom,
but we only SEE hints of it throughout the movie.  I think the most we see
is Tom Hanks's character dancing with his boyfriend.  Probably one of the
reasons visual acts of affection between two gay men were not shown is due
to the effect it would have on the movie's acceptance by society.  This
sounds pretty hypocritical to me.  If you're trying to get the message that
Sorry.  If you're trying to get the message across that more tolerance is
needed concerning homosexuality in this world, why succumb to the same
societal norms that have influenced film and media for years?
                                                Michelle Murawski
                                                Albion College