Why Do Blaxploitation Movies

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The films Rocky (1976) and Live and Let Die (1973) were made during a Hollywood era called Blaxploitation. Blaxploitation films were made in the early 1970s and specifically attracted an urban black audience. Even though they were meant for a specific audience, Blaxploitation films soon gained recognition from all audiences. These two films fit into this classification of Blaxploitation because both of these films take place in black communities. Taking place in these communities allows these films to appeal to the black community. Many Blaxploitation films tend to have this aspect; films like Shaft, Super Fly and Foxy Brown all take place in mainly black communities. These two films express similar ideas, but differ in their genre; Rocky…show more content…
This is an important aspect of the film because many Blaxploitation films occur in an urban slum, such as Harlem and Philadelphia. Rocky works out at his local boxing gym called Mick’s gym. In one of the first scenes the white protagonist is struggling to keep up with the black protagonists. The scene shows Rocky entering his locker only to find out that his boxing gear has been removed. We later see that the person replacing Rocky is a confident, up and coming black fighter that has taken priority in the gym. This displacement of gym gear is symbolic over exaggeration of events happening in the real world. This scene may represent the fear that white working people have towards the possibility of losing their jobs to the policies of affirmative action (Gallantz). Affirmative action policies help people that are part of disadvantaged groups that may suffer from discrimination within a culture. We see Rocky being humiliated by this black antagonist, which later gives him the motivation to prove people wrong about his talents. This humiliation also paves the way for Rocky to overcome his black antagonists at the end of the…show more content…
In both these texts James Bond and Rocky Balboa have to overcome their black intelligent antagonist to reach their goals. In Rocky, Rocky Balboa has to overcome the heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. Apollo is a black man portrayed as over confident, smart and strong. In many scenes Apollo Creed is seen working in conjunction with rich white promoters to get the most out of his fights (Gallantz). In some ways this fight was a recreation of the heavyweight champion fight between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott in 1952(Gallantz). This fight resulted in Marciano being the first white heavyweight champion since 1937 (Gallantz). Creed gives Rocky the opportunity to fight him as a publicity stunt on America’s birthday; Creed wants to market this fight based on the idea that America is the land of opportunity and he wants to demonstrate this idea by giving a local Philadelphia boy a chance to fight him. The fight promoter argues with Apollo’s idea and calls it very American. During the fight it becomes apparent that through his hard work and toughness, Rocky was able to stand toe to toe with the reigning heavyweight champion of the world. Even though Rocky did not win the fight, the big win was that he was able to go the distance and improve his status as an unknown fighter to a formidable opponent. This

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