Screen Saviors studies how the self of whites is imagined in Hollywood movies-by white directors featuring white protagonists interacting with people of another color. This collaboration by a sociologist and a film critic, using the new perspective of critical "white studies," offers a bold and sweeping critique of almost a century's worth of American film, from Birth of Nation (1915) through Black Hawk Down (2001). Screen Saviors studies the way in which the social relations that we call "race" are fictionalized and pictured in the movies . It argues that films are part of broader projects that lead us to ignore or deny the nature of the racial divide in which Americans live. Even as the images of racial and ethnic minorities change across the twentieth century, Hollywood keeps portraying the ideal white American self as good-looking, powerful, brave, cordial, kind, firm, and generous: a natural-born leader worthy of the loyalty of those of another color.
Hernan Vera is professor of sociology at the University of Florida and an author of several books on race relations. Andrew M. Gordon is associate professor of English at the University of Florida and a film critic.
Chapter 1 Foreword: A Nation of Sheep Chapter 2 Learning to Be White through the Movies Chapter 3 The Divided White Self Chapter 4 The Beautiful White American: Sincere Fictions of the Savior Chapter 5 Amistad: Civilization and Its Contentments Chapter 6 Mutiny on the Bounty: Civilization and Its Discontents Chapter 7 Racism as a Project:Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Chapter 8 Scarlett and Mammy Revisited: White Women and Black Women in Hollywood Films Chapter 9 White Out: Racial Masquerade by Whites in American Film I Chapter 10 White Out: Racial Masquerade by Whites in American Film II Chapter 11 Black and White Buddies I Chapter 12 Black and White Buddies II Chapter 13 Conclusion: The Crisis of Whiteness