Reality In Spike Lee

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Wahneema Lubiano contests Spike Lee’s extensive acclaim by assessing his hegemonic effect on depictions of African American culture; she cites the importance of a comparative base and how the lack of qualifying alternatives to Lee’s “reality” render a declaration of reality “reductionist” (100). When reality is continuously based on one representation and established by a “consensus of a particular group,” it withstands simply due to the “absence of existing alternatives” (104). Because Lee’s “financial success [and] general deification…marginalize other African American filmic possibilities,” his “truth” is taken as an objective truth (100). His reality is seen as the correct reality. However, can an objective truth even exist amidst narrative …show more content…
Because he is “empowered by Hollywood studio hegemony” (qtd. on 99), Lee portrays “African American presence within the terms of Euro-American dominance” (101). Though financial support cannot solely account for contextual difference, there is no doubt that a “compromise in form and content is inevitable.” How can one achieve a perfect depiction of reality when they are submitting to a guideline that will be profitable? Money has the power to transmit Lee’s depiction of reality as the depiction of reality; when other perspectives are muted or, at best, shown in select artsy cinemas, the ability to search for the “real thing” by comparing to other renderings of the “real thing” is inexistent. This leads to the concept of exposing reality in general. Is it fair to say that one communicates reality simply by communicating facts or documentary evidence? Does one not choose the facts he …show more content…
When analyzing “truth,” the source of the truth is essential. “Who is speaking?” becomes the main question (109). What truth is he/she delivering? In Lee’s case, it appears that he sets out to present a counterhegemonic interpretation of black culture but only conforms to the principles of the Hollywood hegemony by repeating the “masculinism and heterosexism of [the] vernacular culture” (106). His omnipotent presence and subsequent critical acclaim “encourages audiences to consider these representations as African American essences” (106). Lee’s work becomes the epitome of authenticity even though it does not deserve this title, since it lacks comparative outlets and uses documentary effects as a grounds for factual depiction instead of a route to representation. Furthermore, his authenticity can be easily reduced to essentialist

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