The “Magic Negro” of “Intouchables”


“Intouchables” is a French film telling a story about the white, very rich protagonist Philippe who becomes quadriplegic after an accident occured while paragliding. Driss, a West-African who’s hardly managing himself , takes place in the movie as Philippe is looking for a person to take care of him by living in his mansion and hires Driss. He is the black guy with not so well résumé; with six months in jail for robbery and not any experiences of caregiving. However, Driss finds himself beginning to the job because he was the only one who didn’t pity at Philippe. Then the story develops as expected: Our “Magic Negro” Driss, does beyond taking care, he saves Philippe from his self-pity and miserable psychology and encourages him to have more fun, even though he was handicapped and most importantly, becomes his friend.

The issue about this film, like in many Hollywood films is that these productions’ representations of the others remain stereotypical. To be clearer, they’re showing the black characters as one-dimensional ones and don’t analyze them deeply. The only duty of these characters is to appear unexpectedly in the troubled white characters’ lives and to help them get saved.

Beyond the stereotyping, there is a fact that this movie actually is inspired by a real life event, and maybe that may show that these representations reflect the real life.

A final question to consider would be to think if these kinds of stereotyping are whether harmful, or not ? Well the answer could change one person to another, but the humor, the laughter and the friendship between the characters in the movie captures one so well that the audience may not even think about all of the main issues above.

int 2



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