Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Heading South: White Females & Underaged Haitian Males

Recently, in a discussion about the effects that having sex with white people has on non-white people (on the C.O.W.S. show with Back Of The Bus), the following film was discussed and someone sent me a message asking for it.  I was not able to email it as the file was to large... So, I have posted snippets from it here for you all to view and analyze.
I am attempting to upload the whole film on a file sharing site. Until then...

Heading South (Vers Le Sud)

Major portions of this synopsis are from Vue Weekly
Cantet’s and Robin Campillo’s story, inspired by a novel and some short fiction by Haitian-Canadian Dany Laferrière, burns with sexual and racial friction. From the opening scene—where a woman begs hotel manager Albert to take her daughter with him to his workplace, to keep her safe from the rapacious military regime ( black males?)—we’re in a world of oppression, betrayal and sexploitation, where the divide between “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s government and its poor citizens and between (white) female tourists and their young Haitian (black male) escorts is as yawning as the Gulf of Mexico, its water lapping relentlessly onto shore during the final credits. Cantet deftly injects a sense of Haiti in the late 1970s—a former French colony built on slavery—with a slightly grainy look, and the opening rhythms lull us into feeling the heat and langour settle around the beachside hotel where Brenda (Robin Young) and Ellen (Charlotte Rampling) are staying. It’s there that Brenda sees local gigolo Legba (Ménothy Cesar) again, and now he’s Ellen’s prized possession.
You will see white, middle-aged females cavorting with young (likely underaged) black males- and it IS disturbing... The adult white females' need for companionship has shaded into sexploitation. Sue’s (Louise Portal) earnest talk about how cheap the goods are at the local market only emphasizes Albert’s later point that the tourists are invading Haiti with their dollars now, instead of their guns. Cantet suggests that these white femaleslike most white tourists—are going abroad to find themselves and romanticize (or exoticize) others, using resorts as gaudy reflections that blind them to their destinations’ horrible home truths.

While Ellen can be imperious and viciously catty, she seems to be a more honest colonizer than the pitying Brenda. Heading South—with Brenda’s reduction of the black male body to an exotic, natural object- is a dramatization of ’50s psychoanalyst  Frantz Fanon's controversial ideas about white women’s attraction to black men, and a cinematic response to the many books (eg Heart of Darkness) that have used the exotic woman as a metaphor for colonial invasion. Here, it is Legba—whose reunion with his mother is a subtle, observant moment—who represents the exotic colony, only nominally free of its colonial past, as Ellen paradoxically points out: “Legba belongs to everyone—he makes the decisions.”

Still, Heading South offers an atypical, complex portrayal of its world: women ( white females) are both predatory and self-deceiving; the fatal breach between the world that tourists see and the society that hotel workers must call home is revealed. In the end, the film ebbs away into a melancholy reminder of the myopia in which privileged, self-absorbed whites ( suspected Racist-White Supremacists) can wrap themselves while travelling abroad, so casually overlooking their drowning hosts (victims of Racism-White Supremacy) as they sip cocktails on the beach.
Comment from someone I suspect to be a racist white supremacist:
"No doubt about it: A lot of mature white women have a preference for young and strong black guys - but why not?! The main preference of older white men are innocent looking asian girls - and it`s okay, too! World`s peaceful future will be interracial, intercultural and will mix generations - or there will be no future at all!! "
My take: For at least 500 years, white people have been sexually assaulting and mixing with non-white people whom they dominate, everywhere you can find them on the globe.  Here we are today, in global wars and turmoil under the GLOBAL system of Racism White Supremacy... and 500 years of non-white people having sex with white people has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to bring about a system of justice, nor has it at any time brought about peace. Much of Latin America as well as the United States consists of "mixed generations." This has yet to contribute to the end of Racism White Supremacy.

 Perhaps non-white people refusing to continue engaging in sexual contact with white people would make great progress in ending the system of injustice we currently are oppressed under.  When women in Kenya wanted their husbands to end to their political conflict, they refused to have sex with them, until they ceased fighting they refused to have sex with them until they resolved the conflict.


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