“Get Out” was out for a whole week before I finally saw it and during that time I literally heard nothing but good things about it. After seeing it, I must say it was as great as I anticipated. Comedian Jordan Peele, the director and producer of the film, has quite the impressive mind for putting this together. His name is fitting because Jordan actually peels back some of the many layers of racism that aren’t always covered now since the subject remerged in the nation’s consciousness. But before I get into those insights, let me first say that it is a great theatre experience and best you go view it there before it hits Redbox or any other home streaming service.
It’s one of those intense thrillers that makes for an amazing ride while in a room with a large group of strangers. The genre of horror mixed with such a sensitive subject matter was brilliant because regardless of the demographics in the theatre- predominately white like the one I was in- everyone seem to be together in rooting for the protagonist Chris, played by British born Uganda descent Daniel Kaluuya. However, I did detect a sense of white guilt in the air as we all exited the theatre and I totally understood why that might’ve been so.
While A lot of emphasis was put on the interracial dating aspect of the film, I found it to be the least important of these two other major points: Genetics or “Scientific Racism” and liberal/covert racism. The latter was depicted whenever Chris’ girlfriend parents, who later revealed their malicious motives, would persistently suggest that they would have voted for Obama for a third time if it were possible. This literally made me laugh out loud in the theatre. Peele was taking aim at this post racial myth that’s been the result of Obama’s presidency. That “I have two black friends and voted for a black man so there’s no way I could practice racism” rhetoric.
But the most significant character in my opinion was not the girlfriend or parents, but her grandparents, particular her grandfather. In some (subtle) ways, the movie is centered around him. Chris is invited to meet the folks on the premise of a party honoring the grandfather. And It is he who is head of this horrific family business that Chris is subject to. Then we learn his whole motivation for starting this sick and demented operation was his failure to win in a track race against a black man, Jesse Owens, in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. It’s no coincidence that Hitler and his “Nazi Olympics” as its termed, makes this brief cameo.
I admire Peele for choosing to input this little connection. It brings some attention to the deeper objective of this whole racism mess; how it’s this kind of war for genetic survival declared by a bunch of Pseudo supremacist. The effects of this of course we know are pernicious as it’s produced a culture that disregards and degrades so called interior races. In “Get Out,” the black body becomes subject to a new and weird kind of slavery; hypnotized and under the control of white handlers.
So while the “Get Out challenge,” (reenacting grandpa on his night time sprint) is all cute and funny on social media, I hope we won’t lose out on some of these subtle but very important messaging. But then again, I won’t be surprise if it does get lost. Because the film also helped me realize that our culture and society is currently under a similar kind of hypnosis.
In something like one big “sunken place.”