Screening and discussion of 'Get Out' explores the film's theme and impact

The discussion will try to address why the film 'seems so accurate and terrifying'

Just in time for Halloween, the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy will be presenting Jordan Peele’s 2017 thriller “Get Out” at the ASU downtown Phoenix campus on Oct. 20.

The CSRD’s Created Equal Film and Art Series is working with the Philosophy and Film Series to host the screening, followed by a discussion about how the film presents the issue of racism in America and the film’s impact on society.

“Get Out” stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris and Allison Williams as Rose, a couple who travels to Rose’s parents’ house for a family reunion. 

Chris is meeting Rose’s family for the first time and interprets strange exchanges while there as microaggressions toward him as an African American man. However, as the occurrences become increasingly disturbing, Chris discovers a horrific secret.

Peele, widely known as a member of the comedic duo “Key and Peele,” wrote, directed and was a producer on the film. In interviews, Peele has referred to it as a “social thriller,” inspired by movies like “The Stepford Wives” and “Rosemary’s Baby."

Maggie Tucker, a junior majoring in political science and geography, said she has seen “Get Out” twice but is looking forward to the opportunity to explore the “allegorical themes” of the film in a deeper context.

“I like to look at everything I watch and read more critically,” said Tucker. “There’s an entertainment value, but I also want to learn more about the themes.”

According to James Wermers, co-director of the Philosophy and Film Series, the series screens a variety of films to encourage dialogue about philosophical issues and their relation to society.

Wermers said that during the discussion, a panel will examine themes in the movie such as systemic racism and prejudices, as well as why the film “seems so accurate and terrifying.”

“The goal of the event is to take ('Get Out') and provide context and commentary to draw out things that maybe you may not have seen or may benefit from thinking deeper about,” said Wermers.

Wermers, a faculty fellow in the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, said that the CSRD holds around 30 events every year, including 10 events in the Created Equal Film and Art series. 

There will be two more screening and discussion events this semester featuring “More than a Word,” a new documentary about Native American cultural appropriation, and an event discussing racism in “Star Wars.” 

According to Sarah Herrera, a program manager for the CSRD, said the goal of these events is to create an opportunity for informed discussions about race and the use of film and art for spurring social change.

Herrera said the CSRD expanded its program last year to not only include documentary films, but also popular contemporary films like “Get Out,” as well as theater and dance performances.

She said “Get Out” was selected because it is a film that “started a firestorm of conversation” and engaged people in a way that most films do not.

“We’re always looking for unique ways and unique entry points into these conversations,” said Herrera. “It really is an opportunity to have that deeper conversation.”

The “Get Out” screening and discussion event will be held at Health North on the downtown Phoenix campus and is free and open to the public. 

To register for the event, click here

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