The Bad SixtiesHollywood Memories of the Counterculture, Antiwar, and Black Power Movements

The Bad SixtiesHollywood Memories of the Counterculture, Antiwar, and Black Power Movements

Kristen Hoerl

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9781496817235

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Over the past four decades, a wide range of Hollywood films and television programs have referenced events and individuals associated with the 1960s counterculture, anti-war, and Black Power movements. This book analyses narrative patterns and recurring character types across a wide variety of fictionalized film and television portrayals of the late sixties to illustrate how Hollywood has consistently derided and trivialized the period’s protest movements. The Bad Sixties argues that Hollywood has promulgated selective amnesia by decontextualizing spectacular events that have come to define the decade from the motives that drove dissidents. Hollywood’s consistently negative depictions of protest function rhetorically as civics lessons by placing radical dissent, including criticisms of Western imperialism, structural racism, patriarchy, and two-party politics, as outside of the boundaries of legitimate civic engagement in the United States. The book concludes that Hollywood’s vision of the bad sixties has bolstered conservative agendas since the Reagan Era with profound and troubling implications for democracy and social justice movements today.