About

This is the trailer from the 1996 feature film Set it Off, starring Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Kimbery Elise. Four female friends in Los Angeles, all facing various hardships and frustrated with their economic conditions, resort to bank robbery in order to better the circumstances of their families. The film demonstrates the grim and often desperate realities faced by working-class women of color. The clip depicts the four women planning and executing several bank robberies, and engaging in violent behavior along the way.Set it Offis a rare example of a major action film starring African-American women as the protagonists.

Discussion

How would you describe the woman depicted in this clip? How are they presented?

Would you describe the women as powerful or lacking power? Why? What avenues to gain power are open to them?

Ultimately, in the film, only one of the four women survives, fleeing to Mexico. How might we interpret this ending?