Within Our Gates #MovieReview

Film 134 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1920’s “Within Our Gates”. This silent film looks at racism in America during the early 20th century and the revival of the Ku Klux Klan and many other racism topics. This film is inspired by the Leo Frank trial. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of this because I lasted a little under 12 minutes before I fell asleep. That’s how bored I was trying to watch this. This is listed as a romantic drama but at no point in those 12 minutes did I see any romance. I saw a lot of reading and a man getting shot for cheating at poker. I get the feeling that every time I watch a silent film, I know I’m going to hate it because, to me, it doesn’t hold up! This film is clear evidence of that. Very outdated right from the start. Before the film starts, we are shown the title of the film and underneath it, it says “Renowned Negro Artist.” By the way, have a show the word “Negro” gets mentioned because you will be on the floor within 10 minutes. As soon as I say that, I could tell that I was not gonna like this. And that is the first time I’ve seen that phrase used in any of the films I’ve seen and reviewed in this challenge. So with that in mind, if you have seen this film or, as Wikipedia would call it, any other “Race Films” then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1920’s “Within Our Gates”. Please can my next film be good…. please….

Film – Within Our Gates
Year – 1920
Director – Oscar Micheaux
Written by – Oscar Micheaux
Staring – Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements, James D Ruffin
IMDb Rating – 6.4/10
My Rating – ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Length – 77 min (1h 17min)
Genre – Drama, Romance
“Renowned Negro Artist” – Already starting off racist
We open with Sylvia doing some reading
Reading a letter
This picture quality is terrible
Who is Conrad?
Reading again
There’s a man smoking a cigarette
I have no idea what’s happening
“I don’t love you! And I’m already engaged”
Don’t mind me! Just having trouble opening this envelope
Reading a letter again
He’s not the man I’m looking for
Conrad sent a telegraph to Sylvia and the maid hides it from her
“That night”
How did two women smoking cigarettes suddenly change into five men playing poker
This film is both racist and sexist as women aren’t allowed to play poker
He’s clearly cheating!!!!!
Those women fell asleep while someone was getting shot over a poker game
Finally we get to see Conrad – And I couldn’t care less
Better hide my make-up in my bra

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