Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Remembering the Titans

Lucia Kruseman
English 2
Professor Waggoner
April 21/14

Remembering the Titans

The movie Remembering the Titans by Boaz Yakin is based on a true story about an African American high school football coach in Virginia on 1971, where in the United States was still difficult times for African Americans because of segregation. Most of the places where still segregated and African Americans were not even consider part of the society or either Americans. There was still violence against each other race, and even schools were completely segregated by the government. The movie has an A grading on the representation project test because of its cultural diversity.

            The film Remembering the Titans by Boaz Yakin, is about an African American coach at T.C Williams High School in 1971. In those T.C Williams High School was an all white public high school until it was federal mandate to become an integrated public high school. Coach Herman Boone, an African American coach, was ordered to become the new head coach of the High School football team. Every player, parent and student were against it first of all because he was African American and second of all because he took the place of Coach Bill Yoast, who was the head coach for years. Coach Boone decided to take all new African American players and the old White players to a camp outside of the city to train them and so they can relate to each other and stop the discrimination. At the beginning they completely hate each other but at the end of the camp they actually all became friends. This helped them first to make the whole Virginia society and the whole country realize that segregation should be stopped and that African Americans are consider part of everyone’s community. Likewise helped them to become state champions.
            The representation project test is a test that grades the cultural diversity and measures how well does the film challenges the status quo. The movie Remembering the Titans has eleven points so that means that have a grade of an A. This means that the movie portraits lots of diversity and also does not limit stereotypes.
            One of the things that the representation project test looks for on a film is how women are portrait. In the Remembering the Titans film there are more than one women of color in speaking roles. One of them is Coach Boone’s wife and the second one is his daughter. Also another characteristic of the film is that it does represent women as more than “objects for the male gaze”. As Giannetti mentions most movies put “women’s picture – emphasizing a female star and focusing on typical female concerns such as getting or holding on to a man” (Giannetti 430). But on this film women do not only focus on getting a man or holding into a man. For example Coach Yoast ‘s wife left him because he was too focus on his job, and his daughter, Sheryl, was basically a tomboy young girl who loves football and was always his helper coaching and she even shout to the player what they were doing wrong. Sheryl also represent a different body time since she loved to coach football instead of playing with dolls. In the movie even Coach Boone tell Coach Yoast that Sheryl should be playing with dolls instead of watching how to coach a football team, but Coach Yoast told Coach Boone that he already trying and she does not like it. In the movie they accept Sheryl as she is and they are okay with it.  Also other requirement is to have pass the Bechdel Test and women in the movie when the two little girls talk to each other they do not talk about men instead they talk about either football or dolls.

            In the other hand, for the men characters there were different requirements.  One of them was that the film does not glorify violent men. Every time the players were violent either in school or on the field they were always punished. Another is if the film perpetuate an unhealthy men as ideal, and in deed the movie does not since it is a sport movie every one of the players even the coaches exercise every time and Coach Boone even mentions that they will start eating healthy for know on since the training is just starting. A third requirement was if there are more than one men of color in a speaking role. In this film since it is based on a true story in times of segregation there are lots of men of color in speaking roles, since most of the important football players are African American. The last requirement is about if there are men portrayed as non-stereotypical roles and there are. One of them is Gerry Bertier since he is one of the main Whites that started first carrying and actually carrying for the African Americans and actually trying to make his mother and girlfriend realize that discrimination is not good and has to stop.
            Additional, there is a requirement if the film avoids celebrating offensive racial discrimination, ethnic and stereotype. The film incorporates several types of culture and even incorporated and makes it seem like normal. First it does not celebrate offensive racial discrimination. Another example is that one of the football players was overweight and he actually believe that he had cero possibility to go to college since everyone in his family were dropouts and at the end he ended going to college. Also there is gay character, Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass, and at the beginning obviously everyone was in shock when Sunshine kiss Gerry but no one ever discriminated him for that, not even his roommate. Moreover the test has some bonus points, Remembering the Titans has one bonus point that the writer of the movie is an African American, Gregory Allen Howard. Also another aspect of the movie is that unfortunately Gerry has a tragically car accident and ends up being paraplegic. Here the director as Lunsford mentions “You may sometimes want to use emotions to connect with readers to assure them that you understand their experiences” (Lunsford, 51) use several emotions about the accident and he even at the end showed the scene when the whole team was on Gerry’s funeral since after ten years unfortunately he died. All these points sum up and give the film a grade of an A.

            First of all I was not surprised by the results since the beginning you can see that this movie has lots of diversity since it is based on a true story on times of segregation. Second of all I do not believe this is a fair score system, even though I know that the test was made to challenge Hollywood movies to incorporate more diversity since the society now a days is not just only White and strait people anymore. But I think that not every movie should have like for example lesbians and women with important roles or several African Americans and so, I think that it depends on what the movie is about. For example in this film I think it was super random that there was a gay. I think it was just incorporate to past first all type of society approval and test like this one.

            In conclusion, the film Remembering the Titans is a great movie based on a true story about segregation between African American and Whites in the United States and describes perfectly how sports also helped to join two different cultures together. Furthermore, the representation project test is made to make Hollywood movies more conscious about the different kinds of societies and to incorporate diversity on their movies.


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