In his piece “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Gayatri Spivak discusses the inauthentic representation of marginalized people within mainstream media because the marginalized individuals lack a platform for their own voice. Time and time again films and media, often with noble intentions, depict the struggles of marginalized people, but do so from a privileged vantage point that is not available to the actual people the films are supposedly giving a voice to. Spivak seems to argue more to the null point – that the subaltern cannot truly speak. An example that illustrates this issue is the 2005 film “Unveiled” that depicts a homosexual woman seeking refuge in Germany after fleeing Iran for fear of getting the death penalty because of her sexual orientation. The film attempts to depict the plights of individuals facing similar horrible situations, however it is written and directed by German-born women who have not had to face the type of circumstances their film is centered around. To the film’s credit, it does seek to depict the cruel and unfair circumstances facing many persecuted people and casts a woman in the main role who was raised in Iran during times of political uncertainty. However, as is the case with all mainstream movies, the marginalized individuals with stories similar to what is depicted are not the people who produced the film, nor do they have the ability to give their true voice by creating and releasing their own accounts to mainstream audiences.
Jake LFilm, Intersectionality