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bell hooks

In the film “Cultural Criticism and Transformation,� bell hooks tells us to think critically. She wants us to become “enlightened witnesses� by being critically attentive to the world we live in. The media of popular culture is deeply visual and people with money and power can produce whatever images they want. hooks stresses the importance of questioning who produced and directed a film as part of examining its contents critically. Being a sociology major, I was particularly interested in much of her discussion about popular culture. It was interesting to me when she pointed out how Hollywood movies can suddenly make issues important. Her example was with the movie Braveheart, but there are many other examples. I was also very interested in her ideas about a sense of entitlement that some students feel as opposed to others. She said that when she taught at Yale, students had a sense of entitlement and more of a sense of imagination about the possibilities for their futures.

When she taught in Harlem, students did not have this imagination, although they had equal intelligence. I agree completely with this as it goes along with many sociological theories.
There is much more that I could go on about but overall I would have to say that hooks gave me some tools to think more critically about the films that I watch and question the messages that are being conveyed both subconsciously and consciously. This is a great intro film to prepare us for our film watching.


I strongly agree with you about the importance that Hooks places on being a observant and critically examining the media and in this case, films. Hollywood is definitely focussed on making money only. Many good films don't even make to theaters just because somebody in Hollywood decides that the subject matter or film won't make money.

I was also interested when she talked about how Hollywood movies can make certain issues important. It is crazy that after a certain movie than everyone because interested in the subject. For some reason it isn't "cool" to be interested in something unless mass media says its "cool" or at least that is what it seems to me. It brings up a good question on people's values and way of thinking.