Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fort Apache The Bronx

This 1981 film is about The South Bronx. Fort Apache was the nickname of the police precinct which served parts of The South Bronx. The film generated controversy upon release. Many residents of The Bronx objected to the depiction of Blacks and Puerto Ricans. There were calls for the film to be boycotted and there were pickets and protests at cinemas around the city where the film was played on the grounds that it was an "Anti-Puerto Rican and Anti-Black Movie". It's the opinion of this author that Fort Apache The Bronx is no more or less racist than scores of Hollywood films released before or since. While it's true that the name "Fort Apache" is itself a racist moniker which the police invented. It's true that the police in The South Bronx and many other inner city areas of the United States are an occupation force. The same attitude which underlined the wars of extermination against Indigenous populations is found today in poor Black and Hispanic districts of the country. The police forces view themselves soldiers in hostile territory and view the local populations as barbarian savages. Still, that's not the invention of the film producers. It's a fact of life. Indeed, Fort Apache The Bronx is a realistic portrayal of reality of both The Bronx and New York City at the time. Moreover, the film reveals police brutality and the killing of innocent people in a very critical light. Ask most people that lived in The South Bronx at the time and they will tell you that the film didn't depict half of what really went down at the time.
Paul Newman and Ed Asner star in the film directed by Daniel Petrie.

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