FILM | Spike Lee and Ken Burns | The Power of Film

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“Films can hurt people, and it’s not something to play with. Images are very powerful” – Spike Lee

Uninterrupted & MasterClass have partnered to launch ‘The Power you Hold,’ a series of films examining issues of social injustice and systemic racism offering education and inspiration on ways to impact change. #poweryouhold

In The Power of Film, Spike Lee and Ken Burns re-examine the myth of American greatness in Hollywood cinema and underscore the power of accurate storytelling and the lack of diverse representation in film. Throughout time, film has rewritten history with false information that mislead many people to believe what they saw on screen was true in real life. Films have the power to change a person’s point of view, it can make you hate or even like something and change your life in an hour. Spike speaks on how American cinema shaped how People felt about minorities in films like “Tarzan”, and “Birth of a nation”. In these films People of color were made to be monsters, the evil of the earth waiting to be conquered by the European main character.

How far have we come in film and story telling and why is representation so important? For many people of color, this can affect your self esteem, and can almost make you hate who you are. Imagine during that time never seeing someone that looks like you as the hero or even the smart character. This is how stereotypes are born, and actors of color are forced to play negative roles, because the world doesn’t see them as real human beings. I’m speaking about all of us when I say, we have to change our programming.

“I am concerned about the health of my country, and I know that it’s original sin as historians like to say, is race and that we are obligated not to sit there and permit these things to happen, but to say something and do something.” – Ken Burns

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