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Friday, May 25, 2007

Glover & Venezuela's Chávez

I really wish that Danny Glover could have done better in his choices of partners for such a worthwhile partner in making a movie about Haitian leader Toussaint L'Overture. L'Overture beat back French control of Haiti in the early 19th century. I have know Glover's affinities for another Latin American dictator Fidel Castro.

Anyway here's a little bit of commentary from Afro-Netizen...

Case in point: actor/progressive activist, Danny Glover, has just inked an $18-million deal with Venezuela's new Villa del Cine, a state-owned movie studio, to produce a feature film on Toussaint L'Ouverture, the father of the New World's first Black republic, Haiti. Kudos, Brother Glover!

This is not the first time Glover has worked with Venezuela and its internationally popular president, Hugo Chávez.

I have no beef with this union. In fact, I think it's a good thing. However, it is sad that a respected actor such as Glover cannot raise a measly $18mm (by Hollywood standards, anyway) for a Black, 18th-century version of 'Braveheart' which his old 'Lethal Weapon' sidekick, Mel Gibson, could raise (even post-anti-Jewish rant) by close of business today.

It's a testament to the general public's appetite for all things Black and non-stereotypical. Or perhaps, more accurately, it's indicative of how Hollywood and Madison Avenue grossly underestimate the general public's interest in all things Black and non-stereotypical. Remember 'Roots', anyone?

30 years ago it was aired (before sweeps) as America's first prime-time (unintended) mini-series because the white TV executives didn't think it'd last as a regular weekly TV series. 30 years later, it still remains the most watched mini-series in American television history.

I suspect much of the problem (besides good old-fashion racism qua industry myopia) is that the folks best able to market substantive Black-themed movies, etc. are rarely the ones doing it.

Put such marketing in the right hands (how about qualified, experienced and creative folks who just happen to be Black, for instance) and with a sufficient budget, and I'm certain things would look much better at the box office for past and future movie projects.

(Granted, these folks aren't magicians. So, don't go thinking they could've made 'Soul Plane' worth watching.)

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