2.13.2011

Just one tiny issue with Taken from Me (2011)

Tiffany Rubin & Kobe Lee
I know this film is getting a lot of attention from black women, but we before we all hurl ourselves onto the bandwagon, let's pay attention to a tiny little issue here, shall we?

Let me start by saying I loooooove Taraji P. Henson and Sean Baek.  My beef is not with them; I'm happy to see Taraji branching out as usual, and I'm proud Sean is getting some very deserved, overdue attention.  Not to mention, I'm glad Tiffany Rubin got her child back, and hopefully a nice chunk of change from Lifetime.

However...why is it that semi-mainstream to major Blasian films are either "asexual" or they portray something profoundly negative about Blasian romance?

The cold hard reality is that we don't yet have enough good Blasian media to balance out the dark, if you feel me.  We haven't had several sexually charged versions of Romeo Must Die or Ninja Assassin, and we haven't had several full-length, Akira's Hip Hop Shop-type films splayed across the big screen.  And until we have these, it's not very productive to zero in on this real-life family and make a widely advertised film about their fucked-up situation.

The message women get from this film is, once again, "You don't want an Asian man.  See?  The minute things go wrong in your relationship, he can hightail across the ocean and take your child[ren] with him."
...Kobe has "had a few issues" trying to return to normalcy after his forced trip to Korea.

"He doesn't talk about it too much. The further away we get, the fewer memories he has about what happened," [Rubin] says.

"He's a lot better now. There were a few instances where I'd find a knife in his backpack because he was afraid, and his teachers called me when he went on a school trip to say he did a double-take every time he saw an Asian man."

Salko was arrested in Guam in the fall of 2008 after trying to enter the country. He pled guilty to kidnapping, served time in a West Virginia* prison and was released last June. He can't have any contact with his son until Kobe turns 18
. (Source)
See what I mean?

I assure you all I'm being neither hypersensitive nor paranoid; I'm just being vigilant as always.  America has this annoying tendency to negatively portray POC more often than positively (like, overwhelming more often).  And now that we're seeing the *pattern* emerge more often and prominently than before, I have to raise a cynical eyebrow to a film which suddenly comes out highlighting a failed real-life relationship when successful, remarkable, real-life ones have been either downplayed or outright ignored.

For example...why hasn't the film industry asked Hateya for her life story?  Raise your hand if you wouldn't mind seeing that on the big screen.

*raises hand*
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*Damn...he was incarcerated near me, y'all.

22 comments:

  1. I wanna see. BTW Hateya, I may need help from you since I may have to go on a visa run in Japan.

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  2. @DN

    You can watch it online at Lifetime.com. Actually the link above sends you to that option on the movie's page

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  3. Since my hands are busy trying to complete my thesis, I will raise my chin. *chin raised in solidarity*

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  4. This is what I get from TV/movies nowadays: White men good, all others bad. And they've been laying it on thick too (especially on TV).

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  5. @ leoprincess

    You are too cute for words.

    @ Cinnamon

    *nods* Word is bond.

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  6. @ Kyo

    I wasn't specific in what I meant. I meant to say I am interested in Hateya's story.

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  7. They did the same the same thing with the movie Not Witout my Daughter. Hollywood has been at this crap for years.

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  8. @ cinnamon

    Oh, Lawwwwwwd *rolls eyes* - I remember that ish. It wasn't enough to try to keep the white women on locked down, now it's black women's turn.

    And what makes me ill is that it works. I hear black students talking about wanting to go to Japan because it's the "most westernized"...and that's for the ones willing to leave this country at all.

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  9. I'm pretty sure you could take a WM/WW scenario and no one would ascribe "All white men are controlling and patriarchal." Or anyone really. Bad breakups happen, people do cruel vindictive things to each other.

    Plus it's a goddamn movie! I would never let a movie make me biased against somebody's culture, fucking single story nonsense. If you use movies to learn something without any supplemental research/reading, you are a dumb ass.

    I tried to find an objective account, to understand why they broke up like they did? Not that anything excuses what this guy tried to do to the mother of his child but I was just curious. At the end when she's in the airport he stops her and tries to explain, like "You never should have broken up our family." I thought that was poignant. Like maybe he was really, really hurt? People forget that men are just as emotionally vulnerable as women are. It was hard to gather an impression from the film since it didn't offer any background info on their relationship at all, and it kind of painted him as this one dimensional villain without explaining his motives.

    I just wanted the details, but it was a good movie. Left a lot out though.

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  10. Left a lot out though.

    And therein always lies the problem.

    it's a goddamn movie! I would never let a movie make me biased against somebody's culture, fucking single story nonsense. If you use movies to learn something without any supplemental research/reading, you are a dumb ass.

    In America, the "dumb ass" is kinda implied.

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  11. @Ankhesen

    The Husband and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary today. And come hell or high water, we're going to stay happy, stay blasian and stay married until death does us part.

    I'm going to bypass this movie regardless of its cinematic value.

    @DN

    Let me know when you figure out what you need and I'll do what I can.

    @Cinnamon

    White men good, all others bad. And they've been laying it on thick too (especially on TV).

    Did you catch the ABC News segment about the evil Japanese women kidnapping their half-"white" children (one Asian guy was included) and bringing them to Japan? As if that was an EASY decision for a Japanese woman to make regardless of her background. The news even went so far as to explain how "traditional" Japanese culture and laws favored the mother's biological rights. Bullshit. Women and children are abandoned daily. That sick twisted law exists to ensure that no man ever has to take responsibility for his children, even those he created with his wife. Furthermore, this is one of the last places on the planet to bring a mixed-ethnicity child. If a Japanese woman felt compelled to bring her child/children here, she must have had a damned good reason and all the "white" man's tears in the world aren't going to convince me otherwise.

    They did the same the same thing with the movie Not Without my Daughter.

    This was a huge example of Hollywood!Fail for two reasons: 1) From the beginning I felt enormous sympathy for the husband; and 2) in real life the daughter not only remained a practicing Muslim (burka and all), she spoke fondly of her father AND expressed a wish to be reunited with him and her extended family back in Iran.

    @Ankhesen

    I hear black students talking about wanting to go to Japan because it's the "most westernized".

    This is a decision a majority will regret. Tall buildings and convenient transportation does not a culture or society make.

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  12. I saw this movie elsewhere online but decided it wasn't worth my attention. Even though it is a Blasian movie.

    @Hateya

    Happy (belated?) wedding anniversary!

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  13. The Husband and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary today. And come hell or high water, we're going to stay happy, stay blasian and stay married until death does us part.

    Big ups to you and the Husband.

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  14. Hateya,

    This is a decision a majority will regret. Tall buildings and convenient transportation does not a culture or society make..

    You done said something here...

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  15. @Hateya & Ankh
    Sorry, I'm late, Happy Anniversary and I hope your day went well.

    "I hear black students talking about wanting to go to Japan because it's the "most westernized".

    "This is a decision a majority will regret. Tall buildings and convenient transportation does not a culture or society make."

    I keep telling keep telling my classmates and other people that but they choose not to believe me. I spent some of the happiest years of of my life there (age 10-17) but not once did I expect it to be just like where I was from. The culture shock hit hard the first 2 years but got better over time. Hell, people say the same thing about Paris but and even though I could speak French well, they could tell I wasn't born there and sometimes look down at me. I guess what I'm trying to say is no one shouldn't delves themselves into a culture blindly. People can be very territorial and whether people admit or not some Americans are too.

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  16. @Ankhesen

    Ah... so the "white" man saves the day again? Repetitive... repetitive...whatever.

    @Kyo and Amaya

    I guess what I'm trying to say is no one shouldn't delves themselves into a culture blindly. People can be very territorial and whether people admit or not some Americans are too.

    Nice to see you back again, Kyo.

    I'm afraid far too many Black people, at least those I see online, are thinking entirely too much like "white" people when they discuss other societies and cultures.

    The very first thing anyone needs to learn if they plan to come to Japan long term is to bring a lot of money because this is one place they need to learn about Japan is that you get what you pay for with little or no exceptions. In other words, in order to enjoy the "westernization" of Japan, you need to be able to afford it.

    Then again... even homeless people have cell phones and IPads... Homeless Japanese are Japanese though, not Blacks or other gaijin.

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  17. Here's the thing: if you're leaving the West to go East, why the fuck do you want to be around westernized Easterners? Doesn't that defeat the whole point of going East in the first place?

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  18. @Ankhesen

    Doesn't that defeat the whole point of going East in the first place?

    It appears as though there's a surge in Black people coming East just to earn money to pay off their Western-debts just like the "whites."

    I applaud all of our Black sisters and brothers who come here to teach and/or to learn. Recently, I heard a rumor about a Black "businessman" criticizing Black people, especially women, who come to Japan to teach English. Give me a fucking break. Teaching English and interacting with young people in a academic environment gives us more credibility as a people than some brother walking around Tokyo in an Armani suit. When a someone, especially POC, is hired to work at a reputable institution, the entire society knows that person has been thoroughly vetted.

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  19. It appears as though there's a surge in Black people coming East just to earn money to pay off their Western-debts just like the "whites."

    *rubs temples*

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  20. @Hateya,

    I applaud all of our Black sisters and brothers who come here to teach and/or to learn...Teaching English and interacting with young people in a academic environment gives us more credibility as a people than some brother walking around Tokyo in an Armani suit. When a someone, especially POC, is hired to work at a reputable institution, the entire society knows that person has been thoroughly vetted.

    As someone who plans to move overseas to teach and to learn (when and where have yet to be determined), this makes my decision to do so even more justifiable. Granted, my student loans will be eradicated, but the chance to experience a whole new different way of life is the main reason why I chose to do it. It's good to know that I'll be afforded some respect for my decision.

    To the critical clueless brother in the Armani: Fuck you.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is no one shouldn't delves themselves into a culture blindly

    You'd think this is common sense. What idiot would jump into the pool without testing the water? But as I'm sure we all know, common sense isn't common.

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  21. @Amaya,

    but the chance to experience a whole new different way of life is the main reason why I chose to do it. It's good to know that I'll be afforded some respect for my decision.

    To be open to experiencing an entirely new way of living is the path to reaching your FULL potential. With this perspective, you'll always appreciate where you've been, where you are now and where you're going. A one or two-dimensional way of living becomes a thing of the past. Some people exceed even 3D.

    Sometimes it's hard. Unbearable even. Yet, such a life-altering change is always worth it. It's worth it whether it's for six months or sixty-years.

    Years and years ago, there used to be a commercial for the Negro College Fund that said, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." Walking around with a stagnant (dead) spirit is exponentially WORSE.

    Good luck with finding another place in the world, Amaya.

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  22. If some idiot comes away from this movie thinking that dating someone from another country is bad because they are bad and will take your child then they should just not procreate PERIOD.

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