Talk:Not My Life

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Featured article Not My Life is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Copyedit finished[edit]

This is just a note to let you know that I'm done with copyediting the article. I hope I helped and didn't mess things up too much. As you can see, I removed a bunch of wiki links from words that I felt were too general or commonly known. For example, I removed the states from "Chicago, Illinois" etc. because I felt these cities were all well-known enough to stand by themselves.

I also want to talk to you about one of the images in this article: File:Wiki-prostitute.png, the drawing of the woman leaning on the car window. I think it should be removed. It doesn't have anything in particular to do with this movie, and honestly, I think it portrays a pretty stereotypical view of prostitution, something this movie tried to refute.

Anyhoo, have a good one. Bobnorwal (talk) 18:52, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the copyedit! It is greatly appreciated. I have replaced the image you mention with a more suitable one. Thanks again! Neelix (talk) 21:33, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Not My Life/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: 1ST7 (talk · contribs) 01:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Hey Neelix, I'll review this. Initial comments should be posted in the next twenty-four hours. --1ST7 (talk) 01:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Here's the review:

  1. Well-written
    • The phrase "many people watching the film bring to it the belief that slavery was abolished a long time ago" sounds a little strange. I think it would be better to just say that "many people believe that slavery was abolished a long time ago".
    • Please explain this phrase a little more: "These girls are pictured in a doorway." Does it mean they are standing in a doorway while they are being filmed? What is the reason for including this detail?
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    • Reference no. 23 is a dead link.
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    • The article implies that the third installment to the trilogy has been cancelled. Can you please make this more clear?
  4. Neutral:
  5. Stable:
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:

Overall, this article looks close to ready for promotion, and you've done a great job on it (documentaries can be pretty hard to find a sufficient number of sources for). I'll put the article on hold until the things mentioned above are addressed. --1ST7 (talk) 01:31, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for taking on this review! I have reworded the sentence about the abolishment of slavery, clarified the nature of the scene in which girls appear in a doorway, repaired the link rot, and added a new source to explain the current situation with Bilheimer's plans for his next film. Please let me know if you have any remaining concerns regarding the article. Neelix (talk) 05:06, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Everything looks good now, so I'm passing the article. Congratulations, and thanks for your work on it! --1ST7 (talk) 05:45, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Rhodes article[edit]

An awful lot of this is based on Nancy Keefe Rhodes's article in Stone Canoe. In fact, that is the only item in the Bibliography as of now. This is not bad of itself, but there are places where the article ceases to be about the film and instead is about the article. For instance

...audiences' views on contemporary slavery are nonetheless influenced by the slave-like imagery in such films as Hustle & Flow (2005) and Black Snake Moan (2007). The Academy Award-winning Hustle & Flow portrays a pimp as the hero, while Black Snake Moan features Christina Ricci as a young nymphomaniac; the marketing for Black Snake Moan centered on evocative, sexualized slave imagery, including a scantily-clad Ricci in chains.

Link to version of 17 November; link to Rhodes article. These are interesting points, but they are points made by Rhodes in her article, not Bilheimer in his film, and therefore not directly pertinent to the Themes section of this article. Regardless of the fact that this now has Featured Article status, it needs to be edited to stay focused on the film, and not stray off into tangential discussion about slavery or its perception in the modern world. 86.41.35.180 (talk) 14:16, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I would recommend that this content be re-added to the article because, without it, the subsequent sentence is difficult to parse:
According to Rhodes, Bilheimer "rescue[s] modern slaves from representation as exotic creatures, to restore their humanity" and allow audiences to relate to them.
Without the context of how Rhodes believes audiences are likely to conceive of modern sex slaves because of other popular films, readers are likely to be left wondering what would cause slaves to be considered exotic creatures. What do you think, 86.41.35.180? Neelix (talk) 20:10, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I think that that sentence should be removed as well. If Bilheimer did not say that he wanted to , then Rhodes's suggestion that he did is as irrelevant as the description of the films themselves. I am going to edit accordingly. 86.41.36.106 (talk) 12:12, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Because we are still discussing these edits, I have reverted your most recent ones. We can implement edits once consensus is reached. I disagree that Rhodes's statements about Bilheimer's intentions in making the film are irrelevant; Rhodes is a film critic who wrote an important review of this film, and her arguments about Bilheimer's intentions should be included in this article, as should the relevant contextualization. Remember that this is the "Themes" section, not the "Contents" section. The "Themes" section is supposed to deal with critics' opinions on what the themes of the film are, and these critics' comparisons of the film's themes with the themes of other films is relevant. Neelix (talk) 17:01, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
No, the Themes section is supposed to deal with the themes of the film, citing notable critics. Obviously, this means their opinions are taken into account, but it does not include supposition or imagination of what was in the film-maker's mind. I haven't seen this film, but from what I read in the rest of the article, it did not at any stage, even indirectly, deal with posters of a scantily-clad Christina Ricci, or say that its purpose was to "rescue modern slaves from representation as exotic creatures". If these are not verifiably themes of the film, they are completely out of place in the Themes section, and spoil what is otherwise a good analysis. Nancy Keefe Rhodes did not explicitly say that they were themes of the film (how could she?), she indulged in a little philosophizing of her own. And, as film critic, she has every right to. Journalists are encouraged to "sex up" (in this case literally) their pieces. She cannot be blamed for going down this side-street, and as I said in my original post, she made some good points. But even a section of an article on a film should not become an article on a film critique in a journal.
As for "comparisons of the film's themes with the themes of other films", comparing Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead with Pulp Fiction is a useful exercise; critiquing a documentary on slavery by reference to a fictional movie that's not about slavery is not the same thing at all. Surely you can see that?
You have wisely put a disclaimer on the top of this page, saying you are not asserting ownership of the article. Nevertheless, you clearly have an emotional investment in the article, and you have difficulty in accepting that anything in what has become a Featured Article could be less than perfect. Perhaps you need to take a step back and try to look at it as an outsider. If an ordinary Joe like me can read the article and immediately think "that's wrong; it shouldn't be here", does that not suggest that there remains something that can be improved? And if my edits were allowed to stand, would the section, never mind the whole article, be poorer as a result? You asked me above, "what do you think?" I think the Themes section is better, not poorer, for the absence of those distractions. 86.41.47.157 (talk) 09:45, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Please refrain from making comments about editors; this is a place for discussion of article content. I support article changes that represent the consensus of the community. At present, the consensus of the community on the particular passage we are discussing was established through the featured article candidacy, in which this passage was discussed specifically. This passage was partially generated as part of that discussion, involving multiple editors. I respect the fact that you disagree with that consensus, and it is certainly possible for that consensus to change, but consensus has not yet changed on this point. If we are unable to come to an agreement between the two of us, we should request the input of the other editors who expressed an interest in this passage. I am still hopeful, however, that we will manage to reach a mutually satisfactory decision on our own.
To address your points, I do not see how the passage we are discussing constitutes suppositions or imagination. Rhodes wrote her article as a result of an extensive interview process with Bilheimer. She didn't just imagine things or go off independently philosophizing; she got to know Bilheimer and received an understanding of what his intentions were in making the film. These intentions do not need to be stated in the film in order to be justifiably expressed in this article. With respect to the poster of a scantily-clad Ricci, the comparison with this film is very relevant. While popular culture (instantiated by the films mentioned) commonly gives the public the impression that sex slaves are exotic and de-emphasizes their relatability, Bilheimer tried to fashion Not My Life in such a way as to depict the sex slaves in such a way that audiences would relate to them. This is a central thrust of the film. I am surprised that you wish to remove this content from the article. Neelix (talk) 23:45, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
If you want a third opinion, then I'll simply ask for a third opinion. I'm not going to go round in circles. 86.41.47.30 (talk) 10:01, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I have requested 3O but, on second thoughts, there are a couple of aspects to your reply that do merit a response in the meantime. First, you say that "the consensus of the community on the particular passage we are discussing was established through the featured article candidacy, in which this passage was discussed specifically. This passage was partially generated as part of that discussion, involving multiple editors." I can only see one editor commenting here that

I have not seen Blake Snake Moan but so far as I know Ricci's character is not identified as a slave. The source (Rhodes) does not make such an assertion, instead stressing the usage of slave imagery in the marketing.

and the other in Rhodes's own critique, which I will come to shortly. That does not, to me, amount to a "discussion involving multiple editors."
Secondly, you say that "Rhodes wrote her article as a result of an extensive interview process with Bilheimer. She didn't just imagine things or go off independently philosophizing". In Rhodes's detailed post she says,

Finally, I have passed over the paraphrase of my own article's discussion of the notion of "slavery" as something historical, over-with, & different from modern "human trafficking." It's a bit fuzzy as it appears in this article & could be improved. What I say is...

There is no suggestion in this that what she said about Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan arose out of her "extensive interview process with Bilheimer." On the contrary, the phrasing makes it quite clear that in that part of the article she was "independently philosophizing".
Therefore my argument stands: the comments about those two films (and more besides) are not verifiably themes of Not My Life and are verifiably themes of Nancy Keefe Rhodes's article, which is a different thing entirely. 86.44.193.236 (talk) 17:02, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not arguing that Bilheimer had Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan specifically in mind when making Not My Life. I am arguing that Bilheimer had in mind the kind of exotic sex slave imagery typified by such films, and was intentional in undermining this imagery when making Not My Life. The specificity of Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan is not the important thing, but I do think it important to indicate that Bilheimer was combatting popular depictions of sexual slavery in Not My Life. As you quote above, Cliftonian reformulated this passage, making it longer than it was previously. The edit summary can be found here. While I think his alterations improved the section, I would be satisfied with re-adding a shorter version, so long as it gives context to the sentence According to Rhodes, Bilheimer "rescue[s] modern slaves from representation as exotic creatures, to restore their humanity" and allow audiences to relate to them, which we have no reason to believe to be attributable to independent philosophizing on Rhodes's part and much reason to believe to be attributable to Bilheimer's intentions in making the film. Even if we are to be extreme skeptics and disavow knowledge of Bilheimer's intentions, Not My Life itself clearly combats popular depictions of sex slaves. Neelix (talk) 19:11, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
If you are "arguing that Bilheimer had in mind the kind of exotic sex slave imagery typified by such films", then I'm afraid you're engaging in original research. Rhodes does not say that he had this in mind; she only offers it as her own view. That is precisely why it should be removed, as well as the bit you quoted there, which is not verifiably what Bilheimer had in mind either. 86.44.193.236 (talk) 00:07, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Rhodes is not simply stating her own view. If she were doing that, she would have said something like, "Modern sex slaves are not exotic creatures, but are rather human beings." Instead, she attributes this view to the film, stating that Bilheimer "rescue[s] modern slaves from representation as exotic creatures, to restore their humanity." Again, we can be extreme skeptics and disavow knowledge of Bilheimer's intentions, but what is relevant is that the film itself presents modern slaves in this way. In formulating a "Themes" section, our only options are to cite the comments of reviewers or to do original research and decide these things for ourselves from watching the film, and the second of these options is clearly inappropriate. As such, there is no reason to remove this particular sentence that does not also apply to the rest of sentences in this section. Neelix (talk) 16:09, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
WP:NOR does not apply to talk pages, so can you describe the scene in the film that refers to people's perceptions of slaves as "exotic creatures" and explain how it does so? What is relevant to this discussion is not that the film presents modern slaves as ordinary human beings (which I don't doubt), but whether it specifically contrasts that representation to some image of "exotic creatures". If it does, please tell me how. If not, then you cannot say that it is Rhodes's view of Bilheimer's intentions; it is Rhodes's view of modern perceptions of slavery, and how for her the film was useful in changing them, which is not the same thing. Evidence that it is the latter is the quote from Nancy Keefe Rhodes herself which I gave you above: "...the paraphrase of my own article's discussion of the notion of 'slavery' as something historical..." The article's discussion of the notion, not the article's discussion of the films depiction of the notion. 86.41.33.150 (talk) 11:51, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request ():
@86.41.33.150: your general point about keeping focus on the film itself and avoiding straying too far into tangential questions is well taken, but I think the article really doesn't stray so far as you're saying. Ms. Rhodes's interpretation of the film's purpose, however much it's her own interpretation rather than Bilheimer's, is enlightening for the reader of the Wikipedia article, and is clearly enough attributed that there's no confusion between opinion and fact. Although the FAC discussion doesn't address precisely the point that you make, the fact that there was an extensive discussion there involving Rhodes herself, in which she approved of edits made as a result of that discussion, assures us that we haven't misrepresented her or said anything incompatible with her knowledge of Bilheimer's thinking. So I think that removing this content would be a loss to the article, for no gain. Kind regards, Stfg (talk) 12:46, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the third opinion, Stfg. 86.41.33.150, the film itself does not need to include an image of exotic creatures, because that isn't the content of the quotation. What Rhodes is saying is that the film generates this response in contemporary audiences, not just for her, as you suggest. Given Stfg's response above, are you willing for the relevant contextual content to be readded to the article? Neelix (talk) 14:17, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I can hardly say no. Thank you, Stfg, for taking the trouble to give such a considered response. 86.41.33.150 (talk) 14:27, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you both. Not all third opinions are received so calmly :) --Stfg (talk) 14:37, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

District attorney blow job request[edit]

According to an interview with Bilheimer outside the film, an assistant district attorney, who was contacted to help a friend of Angie's prepare her testimony, "asked her to ... give him a blow job before he talked to her". I had to re-read this sentence 4 times before I could make sense of it---there are too many nested modifiers for my brain. Instead of fixing it, I would like to delete it because this section pertains to the "contents" of the movie, but this sentence appears to refer to something that isn't actually part of the movie. Any objections? Phlar (talk) 22:57, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I would recommend that this statement be re-added (albiet in a clearer way), because it provides valuable contextual information regarding the kinds of revictimization Angie and her peers were at risk of facing even after having been rescued. While this information does not appear in the film itself, Bilheimer provided this information in an interview about the film, and it is information that he gathered while doing research for the film. What do you think, Phlar? Neelix (talk) 20:14, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
@Neelix: I think the article already goes into more than enough detail on the subject. No need to re-add it, in my opinion. Phlar (talk) 21:40, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree. 86.41.36.106 (talk) 12:23, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Is anybody there?[edit]

This article was on the front page of Wikipedia a couple of weeks ago, yet nobody appears to even be watching the talk page! Or at least nobody seems to be bothered to respond to serious questions about the content. I'm going to simply delete the sentences referred to in the two sections above, as nobody has come up with any ideas for improving them. 86.41.47.125 (talk) 14:32, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for expressing an interest in improving this article. It is common for article talk pages to lack constant monitoring. I personally am involved with a wide range of articles, and do not have time to monitor all of them. It is for this reason that I added a link to my user page above, so that people could notify me directly if they had questions about the article. If you have any further questions, I would greatly appreciate a message on my talk page, or else a ping by linking my username in your comment here. Neelix (talk) 19:44, 11 December 2014 (UTC)