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1993's The movie Philadelphia

He decides to sue his old law firm, but this proves very difficult. He cannot get a lawyer to represent him in the suit, and he finally settles on Joe Miller, a black attorney known for scrambling for a living with television ads for his services and with a practice largely geared to accident cases. Miller's practice is far removed from the corporate world in which Andrew formerly moved, and Miller does not want to get into this kind of messy suit against a powerhouse law firm. In addition, he is essentially a homophobe, and he is especially afraid of the disease that Andrew has. Miller happens by when Andrew is being discriminated against in a public library, asked to isolate himself from the other patrons, and the black lawyer changes his mind and decides to take the case. The film tries to make explicit connections here between discrimination against blacks and the new discrimination against AIDS patients, if not against homosexuals themselves.

Indeed, much of the film is based on comparisons and contrasts of this sort--between Miller and Andrew, Miller's practice and the huge law firm, Miller's malleable homophobia and the unbending homophobia of Andrew's former law partners, between discrimination against blacks and discrimination against AIDS patients, and so on. Andrew Sullivan points out the nature of the black role in the film and in the marketing of the film:

. . . this movie about AIDS was directed at black America. From its black costar, Denzel Washington, to its hype in the black press, to a number of critical blackonblack scenes, it was an aggressively black, middleclass film. . . It brazenly took a black, straight movie icon and made him grapple with a gay man. Denzel Washington's role for this reason took far more social bravery than Hanks's. Homosexuality is more stigmatized in black America than even in white America, which is why attempts at a coalition between gays and blacks have so far proved fut...

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1993's The movie Philadelphia. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:36, August 17, 2017, from
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