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Alone Yet Not Alone trailer: the most horrifically racist thing you’ll see this year

If you’ve been following the Oscars this awards season, you’ll have heard about the kerfuffle over the nomination for Best Original Song for “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the film of the same name… which was later rescinded. Check out The Daily Beast and The Hollywood Reporter for background on the issue.

The nomination itself was controversial because the nomination was the first time almost anyone had even heard of the film. And that includes critics and the industry. Alone Yet Not Alone had a brief qualifying run in Los Angeles in November — which some have questioned the legitimacy of — but otherwise it hasn’t been seen by anyone. (And since the film played only once daily at 9:55pm, without any promotion, it’s likely no one saw it during the qualifying run, either.) Ordinary moviegoers may feel that they haven’t heard of half the nominees when they’re announced, and often it’s true that those films haven’t yet been seen by the public. But to critics and AMPAS members they’re usually old news.

This trailer is the first glimpse we’re getting of the film, a low-budget, “faith-based” historical drama:

It’s easy to laugh at the terrible accents, and at the blazing white teeth and perfectly sculpted eyebrows of women living in the woods in the 18th century. It’s not so easy to laugh at the juxtaposition of an “untamed” “savage”

alone1

with a literally slavering wolf

alone2

and their nonstop menacing and kidnapping of pretty blond women and children.

It’s really hard to take when this is supposed to be a work of people who think Jesus has their back.

US/Canada release date: Jun 13 2014
official site | IMDb
  • Danielm80

    You’re such an optimist, MaryAnn. This year, people have already taken offense at Cheerios ads, because they showed a multiracial family, and at a Coke ad, because “America the Beautiful” was sung in languages other than English. I hope this trailer is “the most horrifically racist thing” I see all year, but if it is, I’ll be astounded.

  • LaSargenta

    Ditto.

  • Bluejay

    But your examples aren’t racist. They’re things that racists take offense at.

    Oh, wait, I get it. You mean their reactions are horrifically racist. Well… *shrug* If racists can point to more and more things in pop culture that offend them, it means pop culture is doing something right.

  • Robert McCoy

    Are the white people supposed to be Austrian? Because it sounds like me and my friends about ten years ago doing Arnold impersonations.

  • AJ Miller

    I find it rather ironic that you use an insulting word to describe women and children in an article about racism. “pretty b____ women” Using the “B” word is a term used to describe certain people as unintelligent. You should be more careful and respectful in your choice of descriptive words as to not offend people who have lighter coloured hair. It would give more
    credibility to your article.

  • Tonio Kruger

    This is supposed to be a joke, right? Because last time I checked the dictionary and the thesaurus, “blonde” and “unintelligent” weren’t generally described as synonyms.

    But thanks for playing this round of Politically Incorrect Jeopardy. Better luck on the next round!

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Oh for pete’s sake.

    I used “biond” as a synonym for “white,” as I think is clear from the context. What about my comments have anything to do with intelligence? Unless you’re suggesting that Native Americans have superior intelligence to the white settlers?

    Believe me: when I want to call someone dumb, I call them dumb.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    I get what you’re saying, but you can’t really *see* a mass of idiots complaining about a song or an ad. But here, before your very eyes, a Native American is being likened to a slavering wolf.

    I stand by what I said. I doubt we’ll *see* in a visual representation anything so racist this year.)

  • Lucille

    weren’t the women used for breeding

  • Lucille

    I think Dutch (German-Dutch).

  • Lucille

    On Family Life Today, I heard the testimony of the Leghonaire (sp?.) brothers, who are actual descendants of the girls captured. It is a true story, although historical drama.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    There were many European settler children (and women) who were kidnapped by native tribes. Or you could call it “rescued,” for they were well treated and considered part of the tribe. (Many refused to return to “Western” lifestyles if they chanced to be rediscovered by white people.) The European settlers, on the other hand, killed Native women and children. Is that less barbaric?

    See this for more:

    http://www.native-languages.org/iaq17.htm

    The Natives were protecting their lands and their cultures. The Europeans were invaders. But this movie clearly is framing the situation in another way, where the white people are good and decent and noble, and everyone else is a savage “other.”

    For a history of the propaganda value of stories framed this way, see this:

    http://womenshistory.about.com/od/indiancaptivitynarratives/a/indian_captivity_narratives.htm

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    You’re gonna have to break this down for us. In what way is your comment a response to the trailer or my comments on it?

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Well, be fair: in some contexts, “blond” is clearly a synonym for “stupid.” Not here, though. Unless there’s a tradition of stereotyped “humor” in which Native Americans are assumed to be particular geniuses when compared to white people. I am unaware of such a tradition, however.

  • John Wayne

    Wow, the portrayal of the Indians in this movie is a little offensive.

  • cj

    Why would you say this? Just because they are Indians don’t make them all nicey nice and sweet. There were bad whites, and bad Indians. Grow up.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The people on whom the story is based were Germans. What we have here are semi-pro actors, with no dialect training, being told they need to sound “German”, and apparently having only Arnold as a reference.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Not sure if serious.

  • Danielm80

    Soldiers often commit actions during a war that would be unconscionable under other circumstances. But the trailer seems to ignore the historical context. It seems to suggest that the Indians are wild, cruel savages–based on offensive stereotypes that were discredited decades ago. The actual movie may be more nuanced and more accurate, of course, but the message I’m getting from the trailer is: All Indians are bad.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    This is a movie from deeply conservative Christians. It’s probably worse than the trailer suggests.

  • Tonio Kruger

    And in some contexts, “redhead” is often used as a synonym for “zany” or “hot-tempered”. However, it is more often than not used strictly as a descriptive term, just like the word “blonde”.

    And in any event, it seemed obvious to even the most casual reader that you were using the word “blonde” as a descriptive term and not as a cute comment on the women’s intelligence.

    Though in retrospect, I should have hesitated to give an obvious troll the attention he or she was requesting…

    Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

  • RogerBW

    Another thing I noticed from this trailer is that there’s only one shot of a woman who isn’t looking frightened. I realise that’s what the story is about, but it’s still kind of heavy-handed.