Master is psychological that is in an interesting spot in the genre. Where some might make their monster more symbolic, Master is clear that the monster is racism. This movie is uncomfortable, and it is not because it is a ghost story. It is uncomfortable because it is an experience that people have had and continue to have despite years of progress. It is very well done and well worth your time.
Master is the story of two African-American women at a prestigious New England university. Gail is the newly appointed Dorm mother and a tenured professor at the school, while Jasmine begins her freshman year there. The film shows how both have trouble fitting into the school’s culture, and it makes important criticisms about race and society.
This movie made me very uncomfortable because it reminded me of a lot of what I went through growing up as a person of color. Being different in a school where most people are white is draining. There is a lot of pressure that is unfairly put on people of color, especially when they try to join a culture that was historically created for white males. The depression, paranoia, and sense of not belonging are real issues that come from the inevitable culture clash. Although my experience wasn’t as bad as what is in the movie, a lot of the emotions and pressures are ones I am familiar with.
Jasmine and Gail are used as mirrors to show that no matter how much one has accomplished, or the amount of progress society has made, racial discrimination continues to be an issue. As much as they try to fit in by changing how they look or talk, they will always be outsiders. Nothing changes. The movie does a fantastic job recreating this sense of isolation and pressure. It perfectly creates monsters out of something so mundane. This film is frightening because the experience and feelings depicted are real.
This is a fantastic and important narrative told by some great actors. Some of the parts do get preachy, and the film slows a bit, but it is an important narrative told properly. Go watch this on Amazon with your Prime Membership.