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My Beautiful Laundrette

My Beautiful Launderette by: Hanif Kureishi 1987 “This country that we hate and love” , the ghettoization of culture and need for “otherness”. The movie’s underlying critical theme tends to focus upon the inter-relatedness of power and relationships. Despite how crude the language, within every culture possessing relationships focused upon the attainment of socioeconomic position and power there is always nigger and whitey position (pre-civil rights era terminology for black and white relationships of power). This terminology covers everything from master and slave to field nigger vs. House nigger ( old South plantation terminology ); in spite of their flamboyant cruelty, simple terms such as these clearly state the relationship between the powerless and the powerful; it also denotes the division of labor that exist between them.

These terms political importance are conveniently excluded from Postmodernist discussion and consciousness due to their inconvenient ugliness and inter-generational baggage; but it also brings clarity to why divide and conquer strategies practiced by various ruling classes, regardless of race or gender, against the lower classes. It's the baggage if these words and their ugliness that is displayed within the film through its interracial characters, their relationships and environment, but most importantly through their drive for power, money and the socioeconomic positions brought about by money.

It is money’s importance in obtaining the necessities of life that possesses importance -- not money itself. It's through money that we obtain items of survival: housing, clothes, food, medicine, sex -- items of survival. Without the items of survival, we cannot survive; thus, beneath the ugliness of racism, it’s the ugliness of survival that is disguised by racism. All of which is made very clear through My Beautiful Launderette's characters and their fight for socioeconomic survival that the ugliness of Postmodernist racial terminologies are explained and unpacked in their complete ugliness.


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