It was announced recently in the news that in the upcoming Star Trek film, Star Trek Beyond, the character of Hikaru Sulu (played by Korean-American actor John Chu) will have a husband. Much debate as to Sulu’s sexual orientation arose, as actor George Takei, who played Sulu in the original Star Trek films and television show, voiced his concerns—Takei, himself, an openly gay man. In a recent interview/article with the New York Times’ Nicole Chung, Cho commented on his career as an Asian-American actor and his challenges with representation and identity as an actor in Hollywood.
However, the struggles with identity and representation are not reserved solely for Hollywood actors like Chu. In 2015, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom explored these ideas in her popular documentary The Mask You Live In. The film investigates many contemporary themes that are ever-present in our society—such as personal identity and media influence. Specifically, this documentary, which can be streamed online from the library’s new streaming services, “follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves” and combats the ideals set-forth by the American media.
This compelling documentary on male identity in the 21st Century offers highly relevant commentary on masculinity and the media—including opinions and testimonials from professionals in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, and education. This film promises to be captivating for men and women alike and is a must see for anyone interested in identity, gender, and media — especially those Communications Majors or GSS minors — looking for a flick.
Be sure to check out more films like The Mask You Live In by accessing the Library’s streaming videos at: http://librarybestbets.fairfield.edu/imagevideoresearch. Other Gender Studies films on Kanopy can be found here: https://fairfield.kanopystreaming.com/catalog/social-sciences/gender-studies.