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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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When a man plays a woman

From Melissa White, Salem, Oregon:

Another movie is being released with a man in drag portraying...me. I'm a large black woman and am distressed that the image of a black woman can only be tolerated by the moviegoing public if it is portrayed without cultural pride, femininity, and sexuality (excluding cartoonishly ample bosoms). This trend of the Madea character, Big Mama and now in Norbit is disturbing to me. My "brothers" Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy are making a lot of money off making a joke of the strength of the African-American Woman. I've come to terms with the fact that I will never be cast as the ingénue but, is there a place for me or anyone like me in cinema or have the roles for a big black female with heart and compassion gone with the wind?

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