Finding Forrester" has elements of class, race, ethnicity and stereotyping and even gender inequality that are featured invariably in the various threads of the story as the director, Gus Van Sant would relate the 2000 movie. The film tries to reproduce what obtains in society in as close to reality as possible. Starting with sociological perspectives, this paper gives a synopsis of the film, progresses on to the story in selective perception mode and picks on incidents of the story featuring these sociological terms with an insight of what happened.In a gritty New York neighborhood, a shadowy but perpetually unseen figure appears behind thin curtains. Rumors abound regarding The Window's identity and story, prompting African-American Jamal Wallace to accept a dare to infiltrate The Window's apartment and bring something out. Jamal is a 16-year-old scholar-athlete and aspiring writer in inner-city Manhattan. When he's not writing in his journal in his bedroom, Jamal and his boys would play basketball on a local Bronx street court. They note that they're being observed by someone with binoculars in a nearby apartment building.As Jamal enters the apartment, he is caught in the act and accidentally leaves behind his backpack, which contains his journals. The Scottish reclusive genius writes comments in the notebooks, and drops the backpack through a window.Jamal returns for more lessons. His efforts lead him to get tutored by The Window, with Jamal agreeing not to reveal his whereabouts. The tutor turns out to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning classic novelist, William Forrester, who wrote "the Great 20th Century Novel," Avalon Landing, and had been reclusive for four decades. Forrester is a male Caucasian in his mid seventies.
Blacks like Jamal are considered inferior by some theorists as a result of flawed genetic traits (Eitzen and Zinn 2004). In The Bell Curve work of Herrnstein and Murray (1994), Blacks are said to be mentally inferior to Whites. Such genetic inferiority, according to Gould (1994) cannot be changed by environmental changes. These theories bordering on biological deficiency, generally are not accepted in the scientific community (Eitzen and Zinn 2004). Media, however, just like films, continue to give attention to the thinking of these theorists.
Race is a huge issue in the film and many stereotypes are made. Jamal Wallace is introduced in the film as a typical Black teenage male who goes to a low class school in the Bronx and really excels on the court as a basketball player. He is looked upon as an amazing Black as though unexpected because of his color. One proof of this is that the teacher (April Grace) calls Jamal's mother in to school, to inform her of her child's amazing abilities.
Jamal is also looked at as given to playing or to pleasure because of his class. Although he had wanted to realize his writing ability, the exclusive New York school that had offered him a scholarship, is actually more interested in having Jamal play basketball to improve their school image. He soon learns that after losing several players to graduation, the school is looking to restock the basketball team. In fact, Jamal gets transferred there as a junior, presumably to have him educated. A Black, Jamal is seen to fit in their objectives as Blacks are of a class, easily pliable and more oriented to playing than studying. Or so the prep school thought.
Jamal has been characterized also as an underachiever in class. This plot point caters to the stereotype that Black students get bad grades. This is different from the view that Jamal may want to get bad grades to fit in with his bad-grade-getting peers. This is probable and is more of peer pressure among the young which can be found in whatever race. The first view, however, which appears truer as far as the story is concerned, is stereotyping while the second view is non-racial. The first view which