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black snake moan: a must-see or a must-boycott?

February 27th, 2007     by Thea Lim     Comments

If anyone’s been to the movies lately, you’ve probably seen the poster or the trailer for Black Snake Moan, the new movie directed by Craig Brewer, best known for Hustle and Flow, which showed us just how hard it is out there for a pimp.

In the trailer for Black Snake Moan Christina Ricci plays a half-naked “nymphomanic” in the poor American deep South, who has just been raped and beaten almost to death. And she seems to spend most of the movie chained to the radiator by a crazed Samuel L. Jackson. But, wait, here’s the kicker: from the music and dialogue in the trailer, I think this movie is supposed to be a comedy.

I don’t like to judge movies before I see them (though I will say that the trailer for Black Snake Moan is quite horrifying). My problem is, I don’t think that I could stomach Black Snake Moan. Moreover, I’m pretty worried that after I fork out $10 to see it, I might wish I’d never supported this potential quadraple-threat of possible racism, misogyny, anti-sex-ness, and classism.

Just the film’s reviews makes me yak. The Rolling Stone review (one of the few bad reviews — yup, the critics seem to love this one) states that “the eye-filling sight of a mostly naked Christina Ricci, playing Tennessee white trash with her own spin on “she’s gotta have it,” is unassailable.” The Premier Magazine review starts by saying “Perpetually wide-eyed and mega-snarly bedraggled, Christina Ricci prowls through Black Snake Moan looking like something the cat dragged in. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be very grateful to the cat. (Whoza good kitty? Boo zha zha zha … )…” and goes on to say “Now, these days, chaining a woman to a radiator even if it’s for her own good! is all kinds of unacceptable. And Brewer’s self-imposed mission is not just to make you accept it but to make you like it.”

Now, who knows, maybe this movie is amazing. Maybe it inverts and brings new light to every single horrible stereotype about women who like having sex, black men and white women, gang rape, and violence against women. But I just don’t think my weak humourless feminist stomach can take it. Anyone wanna volunteer to watch it for me?

Tags: media savvy

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