The South Bank Review Winter 2017 | Get Out Screening & Discussion Panel
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You're now in the sunken place

— Get Out Screening & Discussion Panel
Photo credit: IMDb

Amnesty International BAME (Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic) group screened horror film, ‘Get Out’ in recognition of  black history month. This movie had a 4.5 million-pound budget,. It was deemed a box office hit after raking in over 188 million pounds. Not bad for Jordan Peele’s directing debut.

The movie tells the tale of a  a interracial couple. Rose, a white girl who takes her black boyfriend, Chris to meet her parents.  Initially, Chris is reluctant in meeting Rose’s parents because of his colour. Rose manages to persuade him and it’s drama for there on in.

As the film progresses it becomes apparent that the family are not what they seem.  They kidnap black men and women a trade their bodies. White brains are  transplanted to the black body. Elite socialites then bid to see who will win the body for the transplant and take on the traits of the kidnap person.

Although this film was released in March 2017, it was the discussion panel that made this screening so different.  The panelists were Koby Adom (Writer/Director), Melanie Hoyes (BFI Filmography Researcher), Roy Alexander Weise (Theatre Director), Fiona Lamptey (Producer), JJ Bola (Writer and Poet, debut novelist) and Zainab Asunramu (Chair).

The discussion point, racism. The panel considered the impact of  the socialisation of racism. That racism is not isolated but global and systematic.  The consensus of the panel, they thought it was a bold film to tackle a prevalent topic. They felt it revisited the horror of Africans being snatched referring to the opening scene with the row of trees presented eerily it reminded them of the hanging of black people. They touched on the media silence, demonstrated through the character Andrea.

Koby believed it raised an element of discomfort for some individuals as the main character was a black man and the violence scenes were black on white rather than of black on black or white on black. He felt this was a shift from what is projected normally. Kobe felt that those that experienced racism at times suppressed, suggesting that this type of suppression is dangerous. it and that is where the danger lies as there are not enough challenges and we accept the conditions we are in as normal when in fact it is isn’t normal.

JJ felt the structure of society needed to change its narrative for open challenges to be made against the socialisation of racism. That all people that experience of witness any form of racial imbalance should speak. He used the example of Rose, when Chris realised he was in some form of danger, Chris still relied on his girlfriend to come to his rescue. JJ referred to this as knowing “what an ally looks like”. Rose had to reveal who she was to Chris before he and any idea who or what she was capable of.

To hear the points of view of those in industry speak on their interpretations of the film, while sharing their own experiences. To be given words on encouragement to challenge all elements of racism. This was such a valued experience that should be a regular feature, not just for black history month.

Natalie Byfield

Natalie is a mature student from Nottingham. In her early twenties, she decided to try her luck in the big smoke. Her interest in writing began with daily diary entries, covering the usual teenage stuff from how annoying her younger brothers were to her latest crush. This became her outlet, a portal for her to express her feelings freely, this enhanced her passion for writing. She became a resident writer for the South London Press after entering a competition asking for local writers. Inspired by Maya Angelou after reading her seven series autobiographies, she decided to resign from her job working for one of the largest public and private trade unions to chase her English degree (with no regrets). As a trained photographer she has an eye for detail which she captures through the lens. Her passion for black and white pictures became her motivation for wanting to create and develop her own. The dark room became her canvas, while testing her exposure and timing skills. 'You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have' (Maya Angelou)