In a comment on one of my posts earlier today, an article was referenced as potentially being in conversation with the one in my post (Telling Someone Else’s Story, article here). After reading it, it is very much in conversation with the article on Pig Girl.
The article pertained to the film ‘Out of the Furnace,’ which depicts the Ramapough Tribe in very degrading manner, through portraying solely negative stereotypes and falsehoods about their people.
Where Pig Girl raised an artistic question about who has the right to tell the story of another people, whereas ‘Out of the Furnace’ seems only to have raised violence and the misinformed judgment of a people. I came out of the Pig Girl article feeling a greater sense of awareness and curiosity regarding the subject of artistic ownership. My reaction to this new article, dealing with much the same topic, is very different.
As an artist, especially if I have the opportunity to reach a great number of people, I have a responsibility to maintain a deep awareness of what I am saying and doing with my work. If I am shedding light on an important issue, how am I doing that? I am angered and disappointed in the Director (Scott Cooper), writer (Brad Ingelsby), and any producers who were involved in deciding that the perpetuation of the marginalization of a group of people. That is disrespectful. Irresponsible, and entirely unacceptable, especially for a professional, commercial film, that made $5,220,288 opening weekend.
I encourage you to read both articles (hyperlinks throughout this post). I invite you to get angry. Most importantly I invite you to accept the artistic responsibility that the film ‘Out of the Furnace’