Film Analysis Of The Movie 'Separate But Equal'

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INTRODUCTION “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.” -Chief Justice Earl Warren Separate But Equal, directed by George Stevens Jr, is an American made-for-television movie that is based on the landmark Brown v. Board of Directors case of the U.S. Supreme court which established that segregation of primary schools based on race, as dictated by the ‘Separate but Equal’ doctrine, was unconstitutional based on the reinterpretation of the 14th amendment and thus, put an end to state-sponsored segregation in the US. Aims and Objectives: In today’s world where racial discrimination is rife, though covert, what is needed is a slight push to incite action in people so as to curb this practice in the most effective manner- bringing all its manifestations under the purview of the law. Hence, I chose this movie in order to not only analyze the nuanced facets of the law but also to delineate the relevance of the same in the current context in a hope that it serves as the source for the much-needed push. Plot Synopsis: The movie begins with the portrayal of a ‘black’ public school in South Carolina in the late 1950s and how distance from home to the closest ‘appropriate’ school makes it impossible for students to be on time to school. This predicament drives the principal of the school to approach the authorities and demand for a

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