Summary of Bulworth – Film Essay
Imagine a country where politicians speak the harsh truth. Imagine a country where there is no corporate control over government or politics. Imagine a country where people flock around a candidate that genuinely speaks with their
voice, and does not simply tell the people what they want to hear. In today’s world, this would seem impossible. But perhaps it is impossible because we have all been lulled to sleep and cannot rouse ourselves to act in our own favor. This is a reality that many refuse to see, a reality that in the long run affects us all. The movie Bulworth is about this vision. A politician, whose eyes are suddenly opened to the seduction of politics and the false promises that come with it, realizes that he has fallen into the stereotype of a corrupt politician. This realization leads to a mental breakdown, as perceived by his supporters and campaign managers. In reality, he is reborn as a man that is willing to fight for the underdog. What others would perceive as a mental breakdown, Senator Bulworth would consider an awakening to the social inequalities that plague America.
Bulworth is honest, painfully honest. The writers of Bulworth chose to compose a story where nothing is taboo. They openly address the corruption of politics, the abuse of law enforcement, the obvious segregation that still exists, and above all, racism. But we should not make the mistake of assuming that this movie is simply about racism, it is much more than that. It is about the inequality that exists between the classes of America, the imbalance of wealth, and the lax attitude of the government which claims to desire change. America is the land of opportunity, and yet the movie presents this opportunity as being offered only to those who can pay a hefty monetary price for it. And so, we see the truth for what it is…ugly. The concept of social inequality is still prevalent in our society. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer…a cliché that has never been more right. The fact remains that, whether black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc…, if you are born into an underprivileged household you will most likely be unable to afford an education. The lack of an education will lead to your performing low-class, laboring jobs, most likely at minimum wage. A scene in the movie that very clearly exemplifies this issue is the scene where Bulworth is conducting his ‘speech’ for the fundraiser. Instead of reading the prewritten Monotonous speech, he decides to rap. His ‘rap speech’ takes in to consideration all of the issues involving inequality and class. He raps about how the people controlling insurance are nothing but thieves, the oil corruption, and how taxpayers ‘take it in the rear’. Bulworth’s honesty hurts.
The film ‘Bulworth’ shows many scenes that demonstrate social inequality and racism. Although this film is satirical, it sends a strong message. The scene where ‘LD’s shorties’ are getting abused by the police officer is a good example. This scene shows how the police officer stops his car in front of a group of black boys. He then insults one of them by smashing an ice cream cone in one of the boy’s face. The purpose of this scene is to show that racism and social inequalities are still alive in our societies. Some may deny it, but the truth, the painful truth, it very well alive. Later on in that scene, there was a strong argument between ‘LD’ and Bulworth. LD was explaining the situation that the average black American Is in. How working in “mother **** burger king aint gonna get you anywhere”. This scene was meant to inform the audience the lifestyle that the typical African American lives in today. This movie draws a straight line between black and white. It clearly separates the two. All the white people are the rich politicians and business men, and all the black people are either drug dealers (like Ld) or homeless people wandering in the streets. The truth hurts.
Power, in essence, is the key to social change. In Bulworth, we see two forms of power; the good and the evil. In the evil corner we have the corporations, or those who benefit unfairly from the induction of a candidate that is willing to do their bidding, and in the good corner we have Senator Bulworth, a reformist. Both of these characters have power, and this power can be used to establish order. Either we bow to the corporate sponsorship of our government and continue our lives as sheep, or we demand change, reform, and equality and become the shepherds. Power plays an important role, both in the movie and in our everyday lives. Power corrupts; history has shown that to be true. But power, when placed in the hands of those who are willing to bring an end to corruption, can very well bring an end to all that we know of racism, inequality, welfare, poverty, ignorance, and overall bullshit, pardon my French. The interview scene close to the end of the movie was a great scene that uncovers the political lies and the inequalities present in our time and age. Bulworh basically spills his heart out with the truth. The truth hurts.
In conclusion, the movie very creatively reveals the true terror that is in our society; racism and social inequality. As WEB Dubious said “The problem with the twentieth century is the problem of the colorline”.