The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0012  Thursday, 8 January 2009

From:        Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:        Monday, 5 Jan 2009 17:54:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject:     ENA-MOOR-ED, 1960

The following excerpt is from TIME online by Amanda Ripley recalls 
Desdemona's infatuation with her 'exotic' Moor:


Mrs. Barack H. Obama

Shortly before she moved to Hawaii, [Ann] saw her first foreign film. 
Black Orpheus was an award-winning musical retelling of the myth of 
Orpheus, a tale of doomed love. The movie was considered exotic because 
it was filmed in Brazil, but it was written and directed by white 
Frenchmen. The result was sentimental and, to some modern eyes, 
patronizing. Years later Obama saw the film with his mother and thought 
about walking out. But looking at her in the theater, he glimpsed her 
16-year-old self. "I suddenly realized," he wrote in his memoir, Dreams 
from My Father, "that the depiction of childlike blacks I was now seeing 
on the screen ... was what my mother had carried with her to Hawaii all 
those years before, a reflection of the simple fantasies that had been 
forbidden to a white middle-class girl from Kansas, the promise of 
another life, warm, sensual, exotic, different." [April 9, 2008]

Plus ca change...

Joe Egert

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