Review by Choice Review
There is little doubt that the medium of film plays a significant role in intercultural awareness and understanding. Budd (Prescott College) provides an overview of several dozen "intercultural films," defined as "those animated by significant levels of interaction among persons from distinctly different cultural or ethnic backgrounds." He includes discussion of films as various as Chris Eyre's Smoke Signals, Gregory Nava's El Norte, Peter Weir's The Year of Living Dangerously, Philip Kaufman's Rising Son, Claire Denis's Chocolat, Bruce Beresford's Black Robe, and Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala. At worst, these films pander to ethnic stereotypes; at best, they "help humanize, not romanticize, lives culturally different from that of the audience, to offer alternative views of both history and contemporary reality, to challenge the ethnocentric views that all people naturally hold and may slide back into all too easily." Chapter titles include "Poor Relations: North and South of the Border," "Untranslatable Languages: Japan Meets the West," and "Black and White in Color: Africa and the West," to name just three. The book's subject is important to scholars at all levels, but Budd limits his purview to post-1970 films produced in and oriented to the West and includes no historical and production context. As a result, the volume will be most valuable to general and undergraduate readers. J. C. Tibbetts University of Kansas
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.