Save the Last Dance

Topics: Black people, White people, Miscegenation Pages: 8 (3371 words) Published: February 22, 2011
In the movie Save the last dance the film explores various issues current in the United States as well as all over the world. The movie explores peer pressure especially in a black dominant school population. Themes of Violence, adolescent pride and interracial relationships were greatly represented in the film. Also it touches on early parenthood, pressures of a low income environment, racial status, racial stereotypes and prejudice as well as loyalty to friends. Psychologically the movie represents Memory, Learning, Thinking, Motivation and emotion, Development, Sex and gender as well as Social realm. The movie's success depends on using dated stereotypes: "angry black woman," "thuggish black man," and "innocent" white women. White men, with few exceptions such as Sara's father, barely register in that inner-city flick. The movie is set in South Side, a predominately black area of Chicago. She's taken in by her jazz musician father who barely figured in her life. His home, in contrast to his daughter's large, decorative suburban house, was a small flat. The apartment building where her estranged father Roy lived, was dilapidated and in desperate need of repairs. His apartment was no better. It was sort of unkempt, keeping with the stereotypes of bachelor and artists not having a care in the world. Meanwhile, blonde Sarah is trying to adjust her life in the inner city, going to Wheatley High, a predominantly black high school where students check in going through metal detectors, which were absent in Sara's old school in Lemont. That says a lot about the racial/class disparities of two neighborhoods. It was at Wheatley where Sarah met a gifted young man named Derek. Derek is a very hardworking student who is also college-bound. He's going to Georgetown to study pediatrics so he can become a doctor. Sarah becomes friend with bold teenage mother Chenille (Derek’s sister) who shows her around. Chenille takes Sarah to a club where Sarah realizes that she can not dance to hip hop. Derek and Sarah became good friends after starting on the wrong foot; Derek encourages her to go back to dancing ballet. This is very difficult for Sarah since she blames herself for her mother’s death. He also helps her with her hip hop dancing which in the end increases her creativity in the audition. From the very beginning of the movie we see Sarah’s past through her memory. Memory is the system or process by which the products or results of learning are stored for future use. Sarah committed her mother’s death into memory specifically to her long term memory. This is memory storage that has the largest capacity and there information can remain permanently. Also more specifically explicit memory which are the memories that we are constantly aware of such as personal events; they can be subdivided into semantic and episodic memory (personal memory). In Sarah’s case her mother being very close to her was personal. Sarah will always be aware of her mother’s absence and all this lead to her refusal to dance ballet. The situation was very emotional and surprising for Sarah and can be referred to as Flash bulb memory. Sarah not only remembers her emotions of the event but she recalls every detail of the episode. She clearly remembers her demanding that her mother be there and on time. Hence her mother was speeding to get to the audition when the accident occurred. Sarah was not focused due to her mother’s absence and fell during her performance. Sarah vividly recalls the vehicle toppled over and the ambulance and policemen surrounding the accident. Another significant aspect of memory in the movie is procedural memory. These are the memories we use in making responses and performing skilled actions. Though Sarah stopped dancing she did not forget how to dance. Her skill of dancing remained with her. In the movie Sarah learned to associate her mother’s death with her ballet. First of all, what is learning and how did she achieve combining the two?...
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