Race in American Film: Voices and Visions That Shaped a Nation

3 vols. Greenwood. Jul. 2017. 1026p. ed. by Daniel Bernardi & . illus. index. ISBN 9780313398391. $293.99. REF
OrangeReviewStarBernardi (cinema, San Francisco State Univ.) and Green (film studies & screenwriting, Arizona State Univ.) offer critical insights into U.S. cinema's place in world culture with respect to race. The work begins with an alphabetical list of entries (on movies, directors, actors, and noteworthy topics), a list of films by era, a guide to related topics, and a chronology. In an excellent introductory essay, the editors discuss their theory of race, the difficulty of consensus on race's meaning in film, and the challenge of compiling contributions from a diverse range of 95 scholars, who don't all agree on the definitions of race and racism. The editors include only what they consider the most significant films. All articles are signed, with "see-also" references and suggestions for further reading and viewing. Posters, pictures, and film scenes supplement the entries. The work concludes with recommended books, journals, websites, and other materials. Although the contributors are scholars, their clearly written and stimulating articles will be accessible to most readers.
VERDICT High school and college students, general readers, and film enthusiasts interested in the role of race in U.S. cinema will find this exceptional and well-organized work indispensable.

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