Kevin Costner is reaching for the White Guilt crown in his latest role as a widower in Black or White, in which grieving protagonist Elliot Anderson fights to retain custody of his black granddaughter, Eloise. In what promises to be an illuminating tale of cross-generational tensions between the races, Costner, like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, is about to give the White Guilt Performance of a Lifetime; that's based on the trailer alone. Black or White releases nationwide today.
As proven by just the past decade of film criticism and Academy Award tallies, white guilt cinema is an immensely profitable genre, especially when said genre includes sainted characterizations of said white transgressors. While it's mostly white filmmakers and actors who've mastered white guilt as a formula for atrocious cinema, white guilt is in fact an equal opportunity exercise in filmmaking; even John Ridley can do it! Paul Haggis' Crash, a highwater mark of this wack-ass genre, is a rainbow cast of the lowest caliber, which succeeded in earning the most successfully awful film in recent memory three Academy Awards in 2006, including Best Picture.
For the love of privilege, angst, and corny performances, here's the 10 guiltiest films ever made by and about white guilt. Mr. Costner, you've got a vast and daunting tradition head of you. I wish you all the luck and #privilege in the world.