America's minority population at over 100 million, yet the grass roots film movement Mumblecore do not seem to have any dark skinned friends
An otherwise very cool indie film theater programmer asked me recently not to complain about Mumblecore being an all-"white" thing. Looks like I am not going to be able to do that.
Also, a very widely read film journalist who blogs for indieWIRE told me a while back that American indie film has always been a "white" thing. Not really ("Race Films" of the 1930's on, Cassavette's Shadows, Spike Lee, Jarmusch's Mystery Train & Night On Earth & Dead Man & Ghost Dog, Ang Lee & Mira Nair & Wayne Wang's careers). So how come the indie film media does not seem to be at all concerned about the hottest new thing in our world -Mumblecore - being an all-"white" thing?
So is Mumblecore independent film by & for "white"people only? Or for people who do not have any non-"white" friends or acquaintances or business partners? Maybe it is, at least up to now. At least that seems to be the message in the casting decisions made in the films.
In the grand scheme of things it does not matter, since Hollywood is embracing diversity. And Aaron Katz said that he is writing a script that takes place in the 70's & has an African-American lead character. So maybe Mumblecore directors too will eventually reflect the massive diversity in the country that they live & work in. And of course there is a ton of minority indie filmmakers working now & also up and coming; so, now that I am scaling back my posts re: Mumblecore films & filmmakers (this piece is more of a social analysis type piece, these kinds of things I'll still write as necessary), I'll write more about those diverse films & filmmakers here.
For the moment it is however sad that a lot of the media are hyping a grass-roots filmmaking group that does not seem to have any significant non-"white"members; in a country with a huge number (100 million is I believe greater than the total population of France) of non-"white" citizens & residents.
I believe there exists a huge "digital video divide" in the current American indie film scene/industry; from press/publicity on to distribution and all the way down to production. I think this will be changing real fast, like by next year or so, let's hope, 'cause I like to cling to my old perception & belief that the type of films I like above all else/the otherwise cool community that makes those films - American indie films/real indie films - are at least as progressive as Hollywood (indie film should be far more progressive, but I'll settle for at-least-as for now) when it comes to reflecting the ethnic diversity in America.
Finally, a key point that should not be overlooked is that THE INDIE FILM MEDIA & INDIE FILM FESTIVALS & INDIE THEATER PROGRAMMERS are the ones who have made Mumblecore as big a success as it is now. So, any blame for the near 100% "white"ness of the "movement" should be evenly spread among those entities also, not just the filmmakers who have very limited resources and are at the mercy/support of/are dependent on the people I mentioned above for building their careers.