Human Geography Writing Assignment 2: How Minorities Are Portrayed in Film


 For this assignment, you will examine minorities, an extremely sensitive topic in both Australia and New Zealand, and how they are portrayed in film. The two movies you will be watching for this assignment are Australia (2008) and Whale Rider (2002), and both are available to rent on YouTube. Keep in mind that both films are feature-length, so plan accordingly.

 Watch the movies and answer the following questions:

 1.   How are minorities portrayed differently in each film? Elements to consider include number of minority actors/actresses, how prominent is each role, whether the role is presented positively or negatively, and anything else you may care to add.

 2.   Is there evidence of racist policies (or policies to correct past racist policies) in each film? Provide examples and explain. 

3.    Consider the year in which each movie is set. Do you think the situation for minorities has changed over time? How so?

4.   Find at least two reviews of each movie. Try to find reviews from Australia and/or New Zealand, if possible. What was the reception of each movie? Be sure to include how the review discusses the portrayal of minorities.  

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