Green Book is a film set in the early 1960’s which follows Tony Lip, an Italian-American club bouncer from the Bronx, who takes on a new job as a driver for Dr Don Shirley, a successful African-American pianist. The film gives an insight into the deep racism and segregation issues in America during this period. Additionally, we’re shown a massive contrast in Tony’s ideals from the beginning of the film, where he dumps the glasses two African American repair-men drank from in the bin, to the end where he welcomes Don inside his home for Christmas dinner.
The story unfolds as Tony and Don hit the road to embark on Don’s Southern American concert tour, with their differences clashing at every turn. Don is a sensitive, intelligent, well-presented and honest man, while Tony is known amongst friends as the best ‘bullshitter’ and tough-guy who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.
Despite their differences however, the two develop a bond and Tony begins to feel ashamed by the way Don is discriminated against by the privileged white people in every town. As soon as Don finishes stroking the last key on his piano, he returns to being treated like an outsider, forced to use separate bathrooms, restaurants and shops to his white American acquaintances. As the tour goes on, Tony becomes increasingly fed up by Don who suffers quietly in the hands of racism, rather than standing up for himself.
This is a must-see film, giving a first seat view into the deep racism and segregation issues of the early 1960s. By the end of the film, we develop a greater understanding of both characters and see a glimmer of hope for the future.
Green book is now showing in cinemas. To buy tickets click here.
Header image via Green Book Film Website.
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