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Discussion Questions for "Bamboozled"

1. What does the word "bamboozled" mean? In this film, who is being bamboozled?


2. This film is a satire. What does the word "satire" mean? In this film, what is the target of filmmaker Spike Lee's satire? Why did he create this film as a satire rather than simply tell the story directly as a serious drama or a comedy? 3. Identify three stereotypes of African Americans in the "Mantan Minstrel Show." Historically, where did these stereotypes come from, and what purpose do they still serve in society today? Are there similar stereotypes for Asian Americans and Latino Americans? Historically, where did these stereotypes of Asians and Latinos come from, and what purpose do they still serve today? 4. Do racial stereotypes dehumanize people? If so, why? 5. In the film, originally the TV writer Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) created the "Mantan Minstrel Show" in order to offend people and to get fired. Why did this show become so popular, even among many African Americans? 6. Almost all of the African American characters in this film have "colonized minds" -- similar to characters in other films we've watched this summer, such as "Once Were Warriors." By the end of the "Bamboozled," have any characters succeeded in "decolonizing" their minds? If so, how? 7. On TV today, are there offensive stereotypes of African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, women, gays and lesbians, young people, old people, people with disabilities, etc.? If so, why do these offensive images stay on the air? 8. Does the filmmaker Spike Lee believe that TV and other mass media (such as film) can be changed, or will they continue to emphasize racial stereotypes? Why? What do you think he should do as a filmmaker to address this problem? What do you think that you as a consumer of media should do?


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