Written and directed by Spike Lee
In its best and most horrifying moments, Bamboozled has
the feel of a future gone sickeningly wrong: an America painted
in blackface--everyone from the rabid TV studio audiences howling
for a modernized minstrel show called Mantan, to the performers
guiltily smudging their faces backstage, to the shamelessly corked-up
network executive grinning in the control room and "keeping it real."
This is explosive stuff, closer to Orwellian dystopia in its tactics
than any kind of media satire, beyond even the hyperbolic variety
where television turns us all into maniacs (see Network).
The images tap straight into some hotwired place, almost derailing
the movie itself--as they have most critics, whose dutiful mortification
at seeing blackface used as a guerrilla strategy (even a crude or
misguided one) has, indeed, resulted in one of the most compelling
reasons to go see it. Bamboozled hurts like nothing else
released this year.
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