Alien Others: Race and the Science Fiction Film

Christine Cornea

in Science Fiction Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748624652
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671106 | DOI:
Alien Others: Race and the Science Fiction Film

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This chapter explores how issues of race are played out in science fiction films. It also deals with the differences and similarities between the representations of racial issues between Euro-American films and American-produced films. Star Trek and Planet of the Apes presented audiences with a future/present world in which racial difference equalled inequality, violent discord, division and conflict. The authentic/inauthentic opposition in science fiction films is then addressed. The black protagonists in Strange Days and Virtuosity act as a kind of reminder of what the white community appears to have lost or, perhaps, never had. ‘Oriental’ characters also appear in a number of Hollywood films. A variety of responses by a European film industry to Hollywood science fiction is noted and there are also clear similarities between these otherwise diverse films. An interview with Joe Morton is presented, which deals with racial issues in science fiction films.

Keywords: race; Euro-American films; science fiction films; Star Trek; Planet of the Apes; Strange Days; Virtuosity; Joe Morton; Hollywood; European film industry

Chapter.  18354 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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