Analyzing Jordan Peele's Tweets
It makes sense, I promise.
I have been a fan of Jordan Peele since he and Keegan Michael Key were on MAD TV. I’m not saying this to prove myself as a dedicated fan, I’m saying this because I never would have guessed that he would come out with a masterpiece like Get Out. Yet, we were given the Oscar-winning film in 2017 and we haven’t been able to stop talking about it. Now he has graced us with a new film, Us, which some people expected to have a similar political tone. This is for a number of reasons: The pre-screenings exclusive to black media influencers called “Us First,” the presence of Winston Duke and Lupita N’yongo (fresh out of Wakanda), and the simple fact that Us is coming out right into the shadow that Get Out left behind.
However, Jordan Peele gave us a hint that the films are different, and having never seen Us myself, I can tell you how the two films are different by only using Jordan Peele’s tweets.
Obviously, Get Out is a film (classified as a Thriller, but many people would probably consider it a Horror film), so what could Peele have meant by this tweet?
First, the universe in Get Out has created a system of racism that aids in the destruction of black men. This system already existed because of slavery, but the Armitages have created a system that literally destroys black minds, but keeps black bodies. Not only does this retain the belief that the black body is a commodity, but it also retains the belief that the bodies of black people are inhumanely strong.
Second, the Armitages are hiding in plain sight, mirror white supremacists, and other racist groups. Rose is usually the one that goes to recruit men (which is evident by all of the pictures of her and previous black boyfriends that Chris finds), and when these men go missing, no one bats an eye, nor do they question his girlfriend. In fact, they have an entire infomercial that they force Chris to watch. Peele explains the idea of the Sunken Place, better than I ever could. Black people are continuously silenced by a system that was created for our failure.
Peele calls the movie a documentary because of the parallels that he has created between and the reality of black people in America.
Peele calls the movie a documentary because of the parallels that he has created between the film and the reality of black people in America. It documents this reality, albeit in a rather creative way.
Now, how does Us differ from Get Out?
(SPOILERS, by the way...)
The messages involved in Us do not just involve people of color. Rather, it involves a government conspiracy, similar to those that you would see in dystopian films. The film creates a universe where duplicates exist for every person on Earth and these duplicates live beneath ground. Eventually, these duplicates rise and try to take their rightful place. It seems more akin to the meek inheriting the Earth. A parallel could be drawn to institutionalized racism, but the presence of Josh and Kitty (the white couple in the movie) seem to destroy this parallel. Also, when Adelaide is younger, she is replaced by Red. If institutionalized racism is supposed to be represented here, it wouldn't make sense to for children to be involved here. It has been proven time and time again that racial differences have to be taught (whether directly or indirectly) to children.
While this film is rooted in reality, it is less about painting an allegorical portrait of America and more about smaller metaphors.