In an October meeting with white film director Frederick Marx...  

In an October meeting with white film director Frederick Marx, the logic of race was similarly spotlighted by an audience remark. Marx joined students at the Allen Hall Unit One Living and Learning Community for “Hoop Dreams Hoopla,” a discussion of his 1994 award-winning documentary, Hoop Dreams, which follows two African American high school students in Chicago who aspire to play professional basketball. During the discussion session that followed a public screening of the film the day before, a thirty-something African American woman who introduced herself as being from the community commented that she thought it would be interesting to see how an African American would do a documentary on a white family. In response, Marx turned the hypothetical to his own family, imagining them as the object of such a documentary, and remarked that he “would never let anyone do a documentary on him, except maybe Arthur Agee and William Gates,” the two boys featured in his own film. This question forced Marx to reveal his own racial logic, and to reflect on his own unquestioned willingness to make a documentary about two African American boys while admitting that he would never submit himself, a white man in a position of relative privilege, to the scrutiny of the camera’s eye. Of course, the decision to be the subject of a documentary is more than a racial matter, but there was no question that race was in the room during this conversation. (Chapter 1)

Read the Report