Racism in Sci Fi films (Extra Credit)

When you think of Sci Fi films you might think of aliens or non human beings with or against humans. The Science Fiction Symposium showed many great films about racism in science fiction. I enjoyed listening to the presentations about racism in Sci Fi films. They presented Sci Fi films that I haven’t seen or even heard of before. They talk about films like Blade Runner (1982)  and Captive Wild Woman, explaining the film and quotes related to the topic of racism with pictures of the film and quotes.

I’ve only watched a few episodes of the Twilight Zone and I enjoyed them. Each episode I watched, was very interesting and mysterious. But I’ve never watched the episode “I Am The Night – Color Me Black” or “The Encounter” which showed such racism. In “The Encounter”, it represented an historic moment of a Japanese American and a World War Two veteran. In the episode the war veteran killed a Japanese soldier  already surrendered who was the Japanese American father. At one point the veteran also said he was told to think the Japanese as inhuman. Due to its racial overtone, it was taken down. From history, during World War Two Japanese Americans were forced to be in internment camps by the United States. By today’s standard that would be racist and would never happen.

Till this day I still haven’t watched Blade Runner, even though I’ve been recommended to watch many times. Sadly most of it was spoiled to me during this presentation. In the movie Blade Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, and written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, there are artificial beings also called replicants. The movie showed that humans were hostile to these replicants that were not functioning as the normal. The replicants were so highly advanced and human like, it required a lengthy test to determine whether it was human or not. When the replicants were trying to flee the planet, the main character Rick Deckard was hired to kill them all. But by the end of the film, us the viewers still don’t know whether the main character is human or a replicant. In the film the white replicants were shown as superior compared to the other colors. I do also question why AI or androids are shown as white.

Captive Wild Woman seemed like a strange film. A mad scientist transforming a gorilla into a woman. In the film this woman was the only person of color. Already showing racism being the only colored person while everyone else is white even though throughout the movie the character wasn’t treated differently from other white woman.

Even in Science Fiction, there is racism in different forms whether aliens or AI. Just like the real world, it’s an issue. The Science Fiction symposium was great at presenting the topic of racism in science fiction. It was a good insight on sci fi films that I haven’t seen before, which now makes me want to watch them.

10:50AM–11:55AM
Paper Session 2: Film

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