Fourth book response- The blind side

The Blind side movie

Directed by John Lee Hancock

The Blind side is a drama film written about a black teenager who is homeless, Michael gets accepted into a US college due to his amazing athletic ability. He is adopted into a white high class family. This Film is very dramatic with many messages about family, friendship, kindness and wealth. John Lee Hancock uses many techniques to portray these ideas to the reader. Michael overcomes many obstacles when the world seems very against him, he is lucky to be accepted into a kind and loving family that accepts him for who he is. This is a very good Film that teenagers will enjoy and learn about social diversity from.  

One idea that is portrayed in the film is family. Michael the main character comes from a family with a mother who has a drug addiction and a father that has passed years earlier. Michael has been placed in foster care but continually runs away till he is enrolled in a college due to his athleticism. He then is accepted into the Tuohys family, A white family from a nice background and environment. They accept him immediately treating Michael as one of their own even though they are not related. Michael has never had a real close family so it is amazing for him to have this relationship. The Director used editing to show this idea to the viewer. Through flashbacks we see Michael get taken away from his mother and into his new happier lifestyle. I thought it was satisfying how the director used flashbacks as it helped to connect the whole story together giving more information about Michaels troubled childhood. The idea of family in this text showed me that even though some people come from bad backgrounds we should still accept them as friends or family because they are still good people. At the start of the film Michal is very shy and under confident because he is scared of society. Throughout the text we see Michael start to become more self confident as he is accepted into the white family. They show him love an affection which helps him feel ok when showing his real personality to the Tuohys and the community around him. “He was ignorant, but a lot of people mistook ignorance for stupidity, and knowingness for intelligence.” this is a quote from the blind side which tells the viewer that Michael was not understood by anyone in society at the beginning of the text. Because of a family accepting him into their home when people tried to get to know him they understood he was much more intelligent than he appeared. This helped me to understand the statement “ Don’t judge a book by its cover” as some people may appear to be something they are not eg Stupid. When in reality you must try to get to know them in order to understand their true personality and character.  

One idea that made me upset in the text was the racial discrimination that Michael received  in his social situation/ status, his lifestyle, his background and sporting career. Apon Michaels arrival into the white neighbourhood and white wingate christian school he is automatically judged due to his black American appearance. People were quick to judge Michael and speak nasty things behind his back. One white women with a very high social status says “He looks so big compared to you like Jessica Lange right next to King Kong” This quote showed me that straight away women who didn’t like the look of Michael referred to him as king kong. This made me think that they believed he was out of place in their society and would rather refer to him as a gorilla rather than a human being. They didn’t like the way one of their own white women was accepting Michael into her home and helping him with his journey through the college. A Lot of the people in the white community were scared for the children with Michael around as they believed he might hurt them. I thought this was a strong judgment as before they had even talked to Michael or go to know him they assumed that he was a threat to their community and families. This made me feel sad about racial judgment and prejudice. We see this alot in society when people are quick to jump to conclusions on someone’s personality before getting to know them.“Aren’t you afraid for your daughter with him sleeping there?” This is another quote from Mrs Tuohy’s friends who believe that Michael is a danger to her family. Racial discrimination is a huge issue in today’s society and the Blind side addressed the issue very well showing that most people will judge someone on colour, race and background whereas some families and individuals such as the tuohys were willing to accept michael for who he was and look past his background. It gave me a sense of sadness because of the separation between individuals. There was a Common view from the public is that the people from Michael‟s neighbourhood were dropouts of school, they sell drugs, steal and rob from other people, join gangs, beat people up, break laws, carry guns, and even kill people.This was what they associated with Michael, not looking at him for his sporting or intelligence capabilities. These ideas were shown through camera shots such as panning and tracking shots. These shots showed images of American youngster hanging out, getting into trouble, police officers in the neighbourhood and basically lazing around. I made me think of what a lot of white people stereotype some mixed racial areas to be like. This is sad because it treats mixed races as not equal. Therefore it gave people the idea that all the kids from this area are bad people and will cause trouble. This gives them a unfair chance in the world when compared to people with who come from privileged backgrounds. This is because any bad ideas developed instantly make it hard for a mixed race person from a bad neighbourhood to have an equal chance in jobs, school and sport when compared to a white privileged person.

Michael also received a lot of racial abuse when playing the NFL. In the middle of the story the Tuohy family encourage and teach michael to play NFL because he is very athletic and well built for his age. He is a natural football player but takes awhile to understand the rules as well as the strategies. Due to his rough background he has a strong protective instinct making him perfect for a back player. A lot of people such as the coach give up on Michael at the beginning because he can’t understand how to play. Michael grabs players and doesnt let them go as well as dump tackling them which is illegal in the game. Some white people watched him from the side lines and made racial comments against him such as he was too dumb to play because he was from a bad neighbourhood.  Or he wouldn’t be as good as the other white players because he was black. When Michael starts to play against other teams the players are afraid of the size of him so he receives a lot of nasty comments from them such as “ They got a big ol, black bear playing for them” they are referring to the size of Michael which is just not kind because he is a big player but they feel the need to treat him badly as they are scared of him. Another comment he receives from an opposition is “ Black piece of crap” I think this comment is really hurtful because it is out of fear that Michael is going to be better than the player. It is unnecessary and unsportsmanlike to say these things, the player doesn’t know michael’s background of the struggles he has overcome. The player doesn’t understand that Michael is actually a very kind person and he doesn’t need to be so rude to Michael. I felt this part of the text very offensive and I was glad that he got red carded. I think the reason so many people were nasty to Michael was because they are scared of him and what he is capable of. They are jealous that someone from such a  hard background could be such a great athlete, kind and daring. A lot of the white people have this idea in there head that all black people from his neighbourhood are bad but in reality each individual is different. This happens in today’s society when people from privileged backgrounds see non privileged people and believe they are better than them. I think that if we were more accepting of everybody’s race and background then we would prevent a lot of hurt that it caused.

I thought that the Blind side was a great text that developed many ideas around racial awareness. I though that teenagers could learn a lot about privileges, wealth, sportsmanship and racial discrimination from watching the movie. I would highly recommend this text to an individual because it made me feel lucky for what I have and helped me to understand to treat everyone the same. I learnt that it is easy to judge a book by its cover but most of the time our judgements are incorrect and that we need to get a full understanding of a individual before making comments about a character.  I enjoyed watching the movie and I thought the way the director used film techniques helped to bring the story together. 

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