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SAVE THE LAST DANCE

Starring: Julia Stiles, Sean Patrick Thomas
Director: Thomas Carter
Rated: M15+

AT present, school dramas seem to be in season.

At her new school Sara (Julia Stiles) meets Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas). They are both gifted students and take an instant dislike to each other.

Derek wants to study medicine at Georgetown University. Through Derek’s sister they find they have one thing in common, they love to dance.

Sara has been classically trained. Derek is the local hip-hop king.

Due to a terrible family tragedy, brilliantly summarised at the top of the film, Sara failed her audition for the Julliard School in New York. Derek helps her discover her ambition and her balletic form for another try. So far, so predictable?

This light, teen flick has one thing going for it. Derek is black and Sara is white. The US cinema (and our own for that matter) is still very conservative when it comes to black/white romantic stories. The film industry knows that latent racism can financially sink a film like this.

Save the Last Dance, however, looks at the issue of interracial relationships from both sides, so that the black community resents “you takin’ one of our princes” as much as the white community struggles to deal with its own racism.

More power to Thomas Carter for opening up this issue for another generation.

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