Machete Controversy

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First off, I am a huge fan of director Robert Rodriquez and I am looking forward to seeing his new film "Machete''.  When you watch the trailers for the film it looks over-the-top, twisted, hilarious and just fun but I hadn't realized the insane amount of controversy that is swirling about this film!  Rodriquez has been quoted as saying his latest film "Machete" is  a "mexplotation" film similar to the underground genre of "blacksplotation" films of the 70's but not everyone has such a light-hearted view of Rodriquez's new film.  Some are calling this film racist, some wonder if this film may intentionally be attempting to incite some type of race war or minority uprising as described in the article "Will 'Machete' Release Spark Racial Violence?"  (The following is a link to the article itself  I wonder where people are getting the idea that there may be some degree of animosity or even hostility between white Americans and Mexicans...wonder where they got that idea...hmmmm. Honestly I find it hilarious whenever ignorant frightened white people get all nervous whenever someone different from them shows a little distaste for the sorry-ass status quo.  So they throw out fear-based desperate crap to try to scare more fat white people into jumping onto the red, white, and blue propaganda bandwagon with such gems as "They're takin' our jobs!"  and  "Pretty soon, white people will no longer be the majority, we will be the minority" well as a white American citizen I  I'm sure they will treat us with the same kindness, compassion, and respect that we have treated them with for so long.......oh shit, maybe you do have reason to fret there Beauford.  I'm just quickly growing very tired of this juvenile, racist, elitest attitude shared by so many in this country.  If you want all of the immigrants to leave this country, bud, I got news for you, we're ALL gonna have to buy a ticket outta here, immigration and the blending of multiple cultures is part of what makes this country great and people need to wake up and embrace this or the ever-widening gaps between the races, and classes in this country are going to split us into fractions too distant to be traversed.


I remember watching El Mariachi about sixty times in Spanish class in college, so naturally I'm a fan of Rodriguez's work, too (I love how in the original version, they used ketchup for the blood. Imagine just how many ketchup packets were sacrificed to make that film...). I am not familiar with his new release - what's the premise of the film? Why do *you* think people are connecting it to possible "racial violence"? What's so controversial, in other words? I, of course, appreciate the points that you make late in the article (and I also appreciate your sense of humor, and the fact that you also identify yourself as a white person who doesn't have this attitude - that helps to build an ethos that is honest and willing to poke fun at himself, which makes a strong message more palatable). Anyway, I guess I wondered where the connection to the film went at the end. Do you think this is the film's message, too?

JeredJohnston said:

Honestly, I feel that most artist's motives are questioned when they "go against the grain" of what society is either used to are deems acceptible. This is particularly true of minorities, if a gay artist makes a film, writes a book, etc which shows a homosexual character fighting against injustices some will inevitably label it with some "agenda". I think this film in particular carried the brunt of such accusations because of the current issue of Mexican immigrants and the injustices that abound regarding it, such as the laws in Arizona, where it is now legal and encouraged to stop someone and demand to see their papers proving they are a US citizen if the "look Mexican". For centuries the attitude that the US has presented to the world is that all are welcome and that we are a melting pot but now we are throwing people out, primarily out of states that their ancestors called home by the way, a home that we took by force. Personally I feel that people are reading too much into this film, while there are some villians who are white males of authority who are fighitng to keep Mexicans out the primary villian of the film is a Mexican drug lord named Torez. The film is a satire which purposely goes over the top, it is not, by any means a radical film which calls for all Mexicans and Chicanos to rise up and slay the oppressive evil white tyrrany of the US. There are a few political implications throughout but nothing major. If this was Stallone or Schwarzenegger I don't think this film would recieve any negative reviews about it promoting Italian Americans, or Austrian immigrants to rise up and slay the oppressive Anglo tyrrany, I think the only sure fire way for an artist to avoid his/her motives being called into question so severely is to not be Mexican, African-American, gay, a woman, Jewish, Muslim, etc.

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JeredJohnston on Machete Controversy: Honestly, I feel that most art
Emily Wierszewski on Machete Controversy: I remember watching El Mariach
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