African American Crime Films

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African American Crime Films
Menace II Society is a film from the African American crime genre; it was released in 1993 due to the success of recent low budget films targeted at black audiences. For example Sweet Backs Baadassss Song (1971) a low budget independent black movie, that tells the tale of a black outlaw, who is trying to better his community, by battling corrupt and racist policemen. The film cost $500,000 to make but produced a gross profit of $10million in the first year. This lead to young black directors being given studio pictures, as the black population made up 30% of cinema audiences. These young directors were acting as what they considered a voice for their people and this can be seen throughout Menace II Society. The film tells the story of two teenage boys from the hood, throughout there are various violent scenes that are used to make an impact and portray a message to the viewer. I am going to analyse ways in which The Hughes brothers have used various characters to display these messages and what representation of gender, race/ ethnicity and attitudes towards criminal activity and law this creates. The film starts with a flashback that is used effectively to capture our attention in the opening minutes. The two main characters O Dog and Caine enter a convenient store, the store is run by a Korean couple who are suspicious of the two males. The scene is effective in displaying the tense relationship between the Asian and Black community. Due to the low income in the poor areas of black people at this time and also the wide outspread of drugs in the community crime was high, meaning it was common to find people stealing from shops. There
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