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Reality vs Film (Remember the Titans Movie)

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Reality vs Film (Remember the Titans Movie)

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  • October 2, 2010
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Remember the Titans, directed by Boaz Yakin and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, centers around the American football team of the newly integrated T.C Williams High School in Alexandria (Virginia), in the early 1970s. The Caucasian head coach of the football team (the Titans) is replaced by an African American coach from North Carolina. Tensions arise when players of different races are forced together on the same football team. Many of these tensions however, are somewhat eased during the two-week training camp. When all the players return, they find the city in turmoil due to the forced de-segregation of schools. As the season progresses, the team’s successes causes the community to accept the changes and become much closer than ever. This film is based on a true story, although events in the film are largely exaggerated, some of these examples being the initiating racial tensions within the team as well as the level of opposition that the team faced.

Hollywood films sacrifice fact and real interpretation of events to cater for the wider audience as shown in this film by racial stereotypes. Some of the stereotypes shown in this film are the reluctant mother and Gerry Bertier’s girlfriend. In Remember the Titans, Gerry’s girlfriend, Emma, disapproves of the de-segregation and of Gerry becoming friends with Julius Campbell and other black players. She suggests this when she says on the first day of class at the newly integrated T.C Williams High school, “Look at them, they hate us….they’ll always hate us.” That is a stereotype and generalization of the whole race. However, Emma is actually a fictional character. Gerry’s girlfriend at the time was called Becky and didn’t have any problems with Gerry being friends with African-Americans. (ESPN Internet Ventures, Reel Life: ‘Remember the Titans’, 2007). Another example of stereotyping is the reluctant restaurant manager. “I reserve the right to refuse service to anybody…Now, y'all want somethin' to eat, you can...