With the marketing tagline “Arguments and debates don’t change minds. Storytelling does”, Ellen E. Jones’ Screen Deep: How Film And TV Can Solve Racism And Save The World seeks to explore how popular media can shape – and has shaped – our view of Black and other minority ethnic groups. From romance to horror, and everything in between, Jones discusses key issues interlinking genre and identity, and creatives who are offering innovative solutions to historic problems.
While well-researched and knowledgeable, the book is certainly more a series of well-executed opinion pieces than an academic monograph. This makes the book a good option for A-Level and early undergraduate students – or interested laymen – looking to understand the core issues surrounding race in film and television, but leads to some frustrating moments where certain issues are not tackled with as much nuance as they could be.
This is invariably the case with popular non-fiction books of this style and is not unique to Jones. One way she gets around this in the book is by including interviews with creatives in TV and film, which offers refreshing new perspectives – important in such a well-trodden area of academic discourse. All this aside, the book brings to light many productions that readers may not be aware of, and looks at many classics with fresh eyes. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge in this area of media and culture, Screen Deep is a great place to start.
Screen Deep: How Film And TV Can Solve Racism And Save The World, Ellen E. Jones (Faber)
Price: £21. Info: here
words HARI BERROW