Within Our Gates
Oscar Michaux’s film, Within Our Gates, has become one of the best films that show the real life of African Americans. This movie is an example of cinematic art that depicts difficult lives of people who suffer from discrimination. At the same time, it was thought to be an answer to D. W. Griffith’s movie, The Birth of Nation, that was full with stereotypes about black people in America.
The core heroine of the movie is a young woman Sylvia Conrad, whose parents were lynched. She is engaged to a man who is a secret love of her friend Alma Prichard. As a result of Alma’s conspiracy, Sylvia was compromised in the eyes of her future husband and was forced to set out for the South. There she became responsible for seeking for financial donations for a new school and soon met Dr. Vivian. This African American immediately fell in love with her and in the end convinced her to marry him (“Within Our Gates”).
The movie shows striking differences between the life of African American in the North and in the South. It is demonstrated through the characters of heroes: those who were from the North are straightforward and have political rights. Life in the South appears to be more difficult. However, in both settings African Americans are not used to rely on whites, they expect racist actions and are ready to respond. Moreover, the director shows the South’s racism as more outright. He intentionally makes the watchers confused and overwhelmed by all the peripeteias of Sylvia’s life, portraying white and black people just as they are. In the movie, the color of skin does not mean the quality of a man: both whites and blacks who act savagely are shown as savages.
“Within Our Gates.” Rise up, 8 Jan. 2011. https://ghettothinker.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/within-our-gates-film-analysis/