7.1/10
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27 user 5 critic

Shoot the Messenger (2006)

Shoot The Messenger follows one man's painful journey towards self-discovery. On the way he finds both his own attitudes and the expectations of his community challenged.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Medina Aijikawo ...
Sarah
...
Heather
Jotham Annan ...
Nevil
Feyi Babalola ...
Woman #2
Channei Bain ...
Shenqua
...
Elroy
Richard Blackwood ...
Sir Galahad - Radio DJ
Heather Bleasdale ...
Tracey Willis
Graham Bohea ...
Fred
Brian Bovell ...
Councillor Watts
...
Mabel
Sabina Cameron ...
Woman #1
...
Solicitor
...
Sherlene
George Eggay ...
Neil
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Shoot The Messenger follows one man's painful journey towards self-discovery. On the way he finds both his own attitudes and the expectations of his community challenged.

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26 April 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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There was a far less exploitative way of exploring the same issues.
6 September 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

My initial reactions were;

Negative feedback:

1)The writer invented black characters just to try and "prove" a point (e.g. the daughter of the Christian woman with 5 kids from 5 fathers, and also the girl looking for a job and asking about maternity leave). They didn't actually have anything to do with the storyline, and just existed so he could turn his nose up at them. The black on black shooting also had very little point to it, and was just there to "prove" a point.

2)The writer deliberately squeezed in forced levels of negative black stereotypes - trying too hard to provoke.

3) The only redeeming black character (his girlfriend) wasn't given a strong enough voice to actually put forward a counter argument (and making her have 'hair issues' was a real cop out!!).

4) Lots of the negative behaviour from black people was way over the top and unbelievable or even petty (e.g. when the guy in the job centre kicked over the bin when the main guy was cleaning up. I couldn't see that happening.)

5) No wider context of the situation. E.g. He said he was the only teacher who cared about the black kids, but the film didn't attempt to show how the white teachers didn't care. So resulted in all the black characters looking bad, and all the white character were helpful or good.

6) Lots of statements just put in there to shock - such as when he said they should bring back slavery. Again that had no real use in the storyline, and was only there to shock and provoke.

Positive feedback

1) Well filmed and acted >Interesting how even when he still hated black people he could embrace the black church. (the stuff of very loaded debate! ha, ha, ha )

2) Important issue raised of how heavy handedness and harsh treatment of ourselves may be counter productive.(The moment of realisation of mistakes for the main character)

3) There were a couple of funny moments and gave the ability to laugh at ourselves without self hatred, but unfortunately they were hugely overshadowed by far too many moments of self hatred.

4) Quite strong ending.

Overall I wasn't as offended as I thought I would be, but I do think there was a far less exploitative way of exploring the same issues. Apparently the BBC sent her back the script a couple of times saying it wasn't bad or shocking enough. The writer got seduced by that attention, and unfortunately that "trying to shock" factor has got in the way of what could have been an important debate for the black community. It tried to tackle every issue and bit off more than it could chew. I feel the main character was just living through the experiences of the writer Sharon Foster, and not, as she claims, putting an honest mirror to the black community. A lot of the things in there, I felt, were her issues, not anyone else's.


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