Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
Jane M.Gaines has written an important book on the topic of race movies and race relations in early American cinema. Using eclectic analyses that range from W.E.B. DuBois' insights on "double consciousness," to queer theory, Gaines is able to critically examine issues of mixed race people and race mixing in silent films. She wonderfully reworks some theories until they yield beneficial interpretations. For example, Gaines argues against the blanket use of psychoanalysis as a tool to comprehend African American Experience, including cinema, because, she says, "Historically psychoanalysis had no cognizance of black people nor was any attempt made to understand them" (75). According to her film theory has been exclusively psychoanalytic in recent years to the exclusion of almost any other alternative methodologies.
Copyright ©ESR, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 2002