Alienated labor's hybrid subjects: Sorry to Bother You and the tradition of the economic rights film

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Abstract

Leshu Torchin uses Sorry to Bother You, Boots Riley's genre-defying take on race, slavery, and capitalism in 21st century America, as a launching pad for a broader discussion of what she terms the “economic rights” film. Often global in scope, these films argue for rights to sustenance, shelter, education, health, and labor while mapping out the myriad systems that impede access to these rights. Torchin suggests that Sorry's playful hybridity, combining science fiction, performance art, and even corporate-video mockumentary to invoke recent experimentations in black American media, belies a preoccupation around labor that positions the film within the “economic rights” film's robust legacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
JournalFilm Quarterly
Volume72
Issue number4
Early online date4 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Economic Rights
  • Race
  • Film
  • Capitalism
  • Labour
  • Hybridity

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