In This Political Season, A Film Portrait of East Coast, White Working Class Racial Identity


Critic A.O. Scott take a while to get around to it in yesterday’s New York Times, but towards the end of his review he writes: “The movie takes up, indirectly and perhaps inadvertently but powerfully and unmistakably, a subject that has lately reinserted itself into American political discourse. It’s a movie, that is, about the sorrows of white men.” Of the film’s main character, Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck),  a Boston apartment building janitor who was born in a Bay State seaside town, Scott surmises: “Cast out of this working man’s paradise, Lee is also exiled from the prerogatives of whiteness.  . . .to deny that Manchester By the Sea has a racial dimension is to underestimate its honesty and overlook its difficult relevance.”

Sounds like critical race visual cultural studies is in yet another the critical conversation.

A.O. Scott, “Currents of Grief Beneath Everyday Life–Film Review,” New York Times, November 19, 2016, Weekend Arts Section I, 1, 12.




Author: Jacqueline Francis

Writer, educator, curator, arts consultant, and occasional artist in San Francisco, California. Follow me on Twitter @JackieFrancisSF and Instagram--jackiefrancissf

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