Race

1982
Laura Kipnis, Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life is a video essay on street crime, and on the role played by an atmosphere of pervasive (white) urban fear in structuring and renewing racial antagonism and inequality. At the center of the video is a young, white, middle-class woman caught in an ideological trap in which her genuine fear, whetted and animated by the media, becomes synonymous with racial suspicion and hostility. Her counterpart is a black mugger, who tells a story of unemployment, powerlessness, ambition and cynicism, unmasking an ethos not dissimilar to the ethos of American capitalism.