Watch the film, Sorry to Bother You, by Boots Riley. It is available on Hulu. If you do not have Hulu, you can rent it on Amazon for a small fee. *** If you are using google chrome, Hulu only works on Incognito mode because Hulu’s coding is inefficient*** Open a new window in Incognito Mode and login to Hulu *** This message is only for those who use google chrome as their primary browser. ***
The film, Sorry to Bother You, by Boots Riley, is what is known as an allegory. An allegory tells a story using a series of symbols. Ultimately, each symbol and the plot’s movement leads to the metaphorical meaning/figurative meaning of the film as a whole. This wild film is essentially created from building blocks- each inspired by American History, current societal issues and phenomena, and how the United States’ History impacts current society societal issues. Excuse me for using a cliche, but nothing happens inside a vacuum. Even the setting is symbolic and important in this film, so pay close attention(For instance, the film’s setting is Oakland, California, in a non-specified time period. There is significant African American history in this city, and the city has since been gentrified).
Under the section entitled Nonfiction Readings(which includes documentaries), write about how these historical/present societal issues are alluded to/confronted in the film? Pick two-three significant historical/current allusions to write about, and how they are portrayed in the film.
Additionally, while some sources are available on this BlackBoard under Nonfiction readings, feel free to use other themes/events the film alludes to. There may be key aspects you are interested in that I have not listed. Feel free to choose them and expand on them. For instance, social media plays a key role in this film. You may find articles about social media to answer the question:
How does social media(insert chosen subject matter) contribute to the plot’s progression? What is the Director/Screenplay Writer, Boots Riley saying about social media (or other chosen subject matter) and its use in regards to the film and crucial theme in the film’s plot progression? of the plot’s progression. What is the ultimate message(s) of the film?
Cite the source using in-text citations. At the bottom of your response, order the links/books which aided your response to the question.
Four Paragraphs- Answers (5 sentences each).
Two Paragraphs: Respond to a classmate’s post(5 sentences each). You can or inquire/expand on something your classmate has written. You can also argue against it. Please help keep this space civil/informative. This is essentially the BlackBoard equivalent of–our class, sitting with our desks arranged in a circle, discussing the film, discussing the symbols and references.
Paragraph to answer :
Sorry to bother you is an excellent allusion to the fight of radical movements, including the communists that were made at the beginning of the last century, for racial and workers civil rights (Drier). Workers in a telemarketing company decide to confront their bosses. They demonstrate their importance, neglecting the telephone and therefore stopping working. This method was commonly used by unions to rebel and ask for better working conditions and wages. What started as a company-specific thing evolves into a social movement involving people outside the company.
A new form of work created by a corporation in which people do not receive wages and live all the time in the workplace with guaranteed meals is one of the main topics of the movie. Marketing is used as a tool to mask the reality behind this concept by showing happy families. The government’s consent for this type of practice to continue legally, not declaring it as slavery. Using science and genetics to turn workers into half horses by making them more productive, without caring about anyone. The perception and work environment of Worry-Free is somewhat similar to the Silicon Valley villas that have large companies like Google (Kulwin), although in a different setting and with far fewer resources
The main character who evolved from the lowest of the company to the so-called Power Callers who have different working conditions, social recognition and are almost a myth. All the above reminds us of the so-called American dream where a person can go from poverty to success. The key to success is associated with the white voice, in which there is no concern Curiously, the protagonist evolves his thinking, at first, he feels ready to fight for the rights of the masses and then ignores them and even asks them to “honestly” seek life. Parties, drugs, and prostitution in the upper class without any repression. The attempt to be used by his boss to become the head of the workers and to be able to control it secretly as a mode of domination
Another element that stands out is like a YouTube video in which he is hit on the head with a can of coke, making him almost a celebrity. A popularity that he later used to make complaints and influence the audience. An inept program in which people are humiliated on television for the enjoyment of others. The protagonist’s partner is an artist who uses her art to make complaints but whom he reproaches for working for the wealthy. Despite the terrible idea behind the film, it makes the audience laugh and invites them to reflect
Peter Dreier. The Fifty Most Influential Progressives of the Twentieth Century. 2020
Noah Kulwin. Googlers living at Google: Tiny spaces, probably no sex. 2015
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