Get Out is awesome! it isn’t your average horror film with hysterical white women running and falling over; everything, nor is there a point where the protagonist goes out his way to get himself in shit — you know the cliche ‘is somebody there?’ line that these dead producers like to write – and most amazing of all the Black brudda doesnt die first HIP HOP HORAAY! 😀 *BRRAAP* (then again the film does begin with a brudda getting knocked out and shoved into a car, but imma let that one slide)
The story is about an interracial couple where the Black partner, Chris a professional photographer goes to meet the Armitages for the first time (the parents of his white girlfriend, Rose) . The parents seem like any outwardly liberial white couple, who like most liberal white folk drop covertly racist comments here and there, however they have a far more sinister side in that they are the head of a cult like organisation ‘The Coagula’, which abducts Black people, and later auctions them to other wealthy whites who want to have their brains transplanted into Black bodies. [yeah it’s that fucked up] The mother, a hypnotherapist and father, a surgeon use their skills for this purpose, unfortunately for Chris, he is their next target. Though he is ignorant to this plan initially, he grows unsettled by the highly racialise atmosphere and even more uncomfortable by the Black characters [actually white people] in the town who seem as if they ‘missed the movement’ and decides to escape.
Subtle symbolism and sharp wit is used well throughout the film, to amplify the problematic reality that Blacks face when they are ‘woke’ from the hypnosis of social equality with everyday racism accompanied with brutal racism. This post is just my interpretation of certain scenes and themes and how I feel they relate to the Black experience in America.
The control and misuse of Black bodies
The ultimate desire of The Coagula is to have their members relive their lives in Black bodies, this objective is reached firstly through Mrs Armitage hypnotizing her victim so they no longer have control over their bodies ands followed by her husband performing a brain transplant. This immoral use of surgery on Black bodies reminds me of the long history of America’s unethical use of Blacks for medical experiments – from enslaved Black women being used for the development gynaecology, The syphilis experiments on Afro-American men (30’s) to recent theories of poor African-American being kidnapped for their organs . The use of Black bodies in a hypnotised state maybe an allusion to the history of dead Black bodies being taken from grave site and hospitals for medical experiments, this was so common place that old university medical facilities have been found to have thousands of bones pre-dominantly of black bodies (for further reading on the subject check out Harriet Washington’s book Medical Apartheid)
The deer Scene
Summary: On their way to Rose’s parents house the couple hit a deer on the highway
This is symbolic of all the innocent Black Americans who were killed on routine stops on American roads, all the Black bodies crushed by the horror, well the reality, of America’s justice system and those sworn to protect it, whether it be Philando Castile or the countless other reports of Police killing Black men and leaving their bodies out in the open. Interestingly this scene is immediately followed by another where a police officer demands to see Chris’ drivers license though he wasn’t the driver of the vehicle in the incident, further hammering the message of police mishandling DWB situations.
Logan getting out of the ‘sunken place’ scene
Summary: Logan is one the bruddos that is under the hypnosis ‘in the sunken place’ , however the flash of the Chris’ mobile phone camera releases him from the hypnosis, which sets Logan off screaming at Chris to ‘Get Out!’
The director Jordan Peele says he finished the idea for the film after Obama’s first election win, it’s plausible to me that Logan is a symbol of Black America’s belief in the lie(the hypnosis if you like :)) of social equality after Obama’s elections and then the sudden end of that hypnosis with a camera phone ,but rather than the flash, it’s the footage from mobile phones of police misconduct, which makes us want to get out ; get out of America, get out of the delusion, get out and onto the streets to protest!
The idea of the sunken place may be an allusion to Ralph Ellison’s, notorious Battle Royal scene in his classic Invisible Man novel, where the narrator invokes, “I wanted to…sink through the floor or go to her and cover my eyes”, the her in this quote is a half-naked blonde woman, who was a supposed symbol of the unattainable American dream for the narrator, a young Black boy living in the pre-Civil rights US. likewise my broddoz living state side find themselves in a sunken place where the American dream; social mobility and equality before the law ,are beautiful seductive women you know you can’t have.