Ambivalence isn't a strong enough word, although it implies two equal forces ripping you in opposite directions. On the one hand, I'm glad there's a film version of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl's life is in pre-production, to be directed by Ed Zwick and financed by Brangelina. It's based on Mariane Pearl's book A Mighty Heart. I'm glad that it shows our so-called "allies" in the war on terror, the lovely gentlemen of the Pakistani securty forces, as the two-faced scum they are, and of course takes a swipe or two at Dubya. But when I look at Angelina in blackface and with a perm (Mariane Pearl's hair is even kinkier that this), I gotta to stop and say w.t.f?
Zoe Saldana, the black actress du jour (as only one or two sistas are allowed to succeed at once, get all the roles until white Hollywood annoints the next one) stated:
"It's a little troubling that considering the difficulty for women of color to get good roles inPretty sharp for a Dominican chica from Queens, eh? The punchline is that Angelina was considering Thandie Newton for the role, but, upon "befriending" Mariane, nobly decided to snag top billing for herself.
Hollywood, they would get a white woman to play a light-skinned black woman.
What's next? They'll just have the geeks create CGI black people?"
On the concreteloop.com site a brother emailed that hey, if Alicia Keyes could act, maybe she could pull it off. I doubt it, and rappers/singers displacing trained black actors is part of the damn problem. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of weightier racial issues in this universe that demand more attention than a white chick playing a black woman (and yes...Mariane Pearl is BLACK. Don't let her Tiger Woods-esque rundown of her racial make up distract you. And when you look at her nose and hair, hell...it ain't even close). But this is an indicia of the marketing culture's trivialization of race. We get a box office white woman to play a black woman because there aren't any black women who'll justify white folks buying tickets. Can't shrink and lighten Queen Latifah. But why not take a risk? The story, the acting is what's supposedly important, or so Brad and Angelina spout, or is this limousine liberal Hollywood horseshit? But hey, it's Brangelina's money paying for the flick. For goddsakes please stop the King family from selling off the rest of MLK's legacy, otherwise David Hasselhof will be shouting "Free at last..." in the next film version!
Look at my boy Forrest Whitaker, who is likely to win an Oscar playing Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Yes, they gave him an extra coat of shoepolish to darken him up, but it was the power, menance, charm of Amin that he channelled, interpreted, exuded. Why not give an unknown black woman the chance to show those skills as Mariane Pearl? Or Thandie, or Zoe or hell give Halle Berry something to do besides whine about not having a man. I suppose if the typical Hollywood clown was doing the Last King, he'd have had Michael Clark Duncan play Amin, or worse, make Brad Pitt gain 100 pounds, grow six inches and spray paint him?
Check out these beautiful women of color: Zoe and Thandie and convince me that Angelina is more attractive or a better actress.