A trailer is enough. A few sequences of Maestro to spread outrage. The film directed and starring Bradley Cooper which will be presented at the next Venice Festival wants to recreate the love story between the composer of West side story and Felicia Montealegre (played by Carey Mulligan). And so he seems to do it with due passion. Up to here all correct. However, a small great detail has sparked controversy. If you wanted, you could even talk about a controversy of noses (excuse me). Indeed, the prominent nasal prosthesis that the interpreter wears has caused him to be quickly accused of Jewface.
And what is Jewface? Well basically, and with due distance, the Jewish equivalent of Blackface. And the jazz singer (the first orthodox exercise in talkie rather than sound film) turned the practice of face-painting a white actor to pass them off as black into an iconic image of infamy, makeup focused on accentuating the nose would be the Hebrew equivalent. To what extent this is a new example of cultural appropriation or an excess of sensitivity is left to the discretion of the reader. Be that as it may, the controversy is served… in networks.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, The first to protest was the British actress and activist Tracy-Ann Obermann. “And [Cooper] need to wear a nasal prosthesis, so that is, for me and many others, the equivalent of Blackface o Yellowface…if Bradley Cooper can’t [interpretar el papel] acting alone, then hire a Jewish actor”. The complainant recalls on the social network that the actor was able to give life to the main character of The elephant Man without a single addition and with nothing more than his power and interpretive capacity on stage.
Bernstein’s childrenHowever, they have sided with the actor: “It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentation or misunderstanding surrounding the efforts [de Cooper]…Bradley chose to wear makeup to underscore the resemblance…We’re sure our father would have agreed.”