This 90s Movie Was So Offensive, It Would Never Be Made Today

This 90s Movie Was So Offensive, It Would Never Be Made Today
Image credit: Legion-Media

The world we live in today has undergone major transformations, and something that was acceptable thirty or twenty years ago, very often does not make sense today. It can be even worse as some things may well be taken as a serious offense. Movies are certainly no exception.

Let's take for instance The Krippendorf's Tribe, a 1998 film about a depressed anthropologist played by Richard Dreyfuss, who fakes the discovery of a long-lost tribe of New Guinea fearing his university might pull out his grant. He forges the proof of his discovery forcing the members of his family to dress up and pose like tribesmen, who he then videotapes.

What can be wrong with the movie? Actually everything!

It would not be stretching a point to say that the movie is one of the most racist films ever made. It has a full set of racist stereotypes and clichés starting from children and grown-ups doing blackface to dressing in what is seen as "native" attire to practicing "barbaric" tribal rituals. And all these appalling instances of "native" behavior are there so that we'd get a good laugh, apparently.

Can there really be anything funnier than passing a child's toy for a dildo or fake a circumcision ritual with the use of a stone knife?

The scene when a menstruating girl is put into a cage in front of the whole school class only to be "cleaned" with pig urine is also what the writers Frank Parkin, Charlie Peters and the director Todd Holland – just like the Disney management (believe it or not) – found hilarious back in 1998.

If this is not enough, here's another piece of "comedy" for you – filming people having sex. The "funny" aspect, according to Todd Holland, is that the woman in the scene is drunk, dressed in a "native" garment and never voiced her consent to being filmed. The fake tribal sex footage is then sold to Discovery Channel and is played for everyone to see. Isn't it funny indeed? Kidnapping? Date rape? Never heard of those!

It is certainly a big question if one can judge anything by modern-day standards but this film stands aside for being a horrendous racists crap, which the movie goers hated already back in 1998. The film grossed slightly more than $7 million at the box office. Deduct the share the theatres took and simple math will land this racist junk in the category of films, which do not see even the modest P&A expenses covered.