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# Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African

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Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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26 Oct 2019, 08:48
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 414, Date: 26-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African Americans in the Hollywood films of the 1970s, the women of Delta Sigma Theta, an African American service sorority, embarked on an ambitious project to produce a feature film that would challenge these stereotypes. Filmmaker S. Torriano Berry recounts in his documentary on the sorority’s efforts how, unfortunately, what could have been a historic project with the power to transform the U.S. entertainment industry failed due to the sorority’s reliance on the major movie studios’ traditional marketing and distribution system.

Lillian Benbow, the president of Delta Sigma Theta, and the sorority’s Arts and Letters committee headed the effort to raise money for the production of the film, Countdown at Kusini, from donations. While most of the funds were contributed by the thousands of sorority members across the United States, African American entertainment luminaries not only supported the project financially but also donated their talent and expertise. However, after arriving on location in Nigeria, the producers found that lack of qualified technicians, editors, film crews, equipment, and cinematic support services within the country meant that unexpected costs quickly added up, drastically exceeding the initial budget.

Even with the cost overruns, the movie could have paid for itself and perhaps even turned a modest profit if the sorority’s initial marketing proposal had been followed. When preparing the budget, Delta Sigma Theta expected to use a four-wall marketing plan, in which the sorority’s extensive membership would rent local theaters across the country, then sell tickets to other members, friends, and family. Additional screenings would be held as demand warranted. As one of the oldest and most extensive service sororities, Delta Sigma Theta had enough members in enough cities to at least recoup production costs. However, a major Hollywood film company became aware of the project and approached the sorority with an offer to distribute the film. Buoyed by the interest of the mainstream media, the sorority believed that the film company’s expertise in marketing and distribution would lead to broader exposure and greater opportunities for success. Unfortunately, when the film was released through traditional channels, without any coordination with the local chapters of the sorority, it quickly failed.

Despite the film’s commercial failure, the project is remarkable for its prescience, providing an early example of crowdfunding and media activism. Delta Sigma Theta took active steps to counter the limited range of stereotypes of African Americans in Hollywood films, and it funded these efforts through numerous small contributions. Moreover, the film’s ultimate impact may not be only historical but also tangible in the modern Nigerian film industry, second in size only to that of India. When Countdown at Kusini was produced, there was no filmmaking infrastructure in Nigeria. While some of the production equipment was brought back to the United States, much was left behind, as well as the newly developed expertise of the local technicians, editors, actors, and production staff who were trained on the film. One of the most intriguing questions surrounding Countdown at Kusini may be that of its effect on the nascent Nigerian film industry.

Spoiler: :: OA
D

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) criticize Hollywood’s depictions of African Americans in the films of the 1970s
(B) compare and contrast the presentations of African Americans in Countdown at Kusini with those found in Hollywood films
(C) explain how Countdown at Kusini transformed the film industry, particularly in Nigeria
(D) chronicle the reasons for the production of Countdown at Kusini and the film’s significance
(E) describe the technical difficulties encountered in the production of Countdown at Kusini and how they were overcome

Spoiler: :: OA
C

2. The author’s reference to a “four-wall marketing plan” (Highlighted) serves primarily to

(A) explain the factors that contributed to the successful release of the film
(B) illustrate the characteristics of a traditional Hollywood film release
(C) contrast the original marketing strategy with the one that subsequently failed
(D) indicate the reasons the sorority’s plan proved to be unworkable
(E) demonstrate why the film was unlikely to recover its production costs

Spoiler: :: OA
C

3. According to the passage, the sorority agreed to the Hollywood film company’s marketing plan for which of the following reasons?

(A) The sorority believed that cost overruns in the production of the film demanded higher sales in order for the film to recover those costs.
(B) The sorority determined the four-wall marketing plan would not be feasible.
(C) The sorority thought that, since the Hollywood film company had more resources and experience, the film company’s plan would be more effective.
(D) The sorority members were not able to rent sufficient theaters to ensure the success of the four-wall marketing strategy.
(E) The sorority members were concentrated in a limited number of geographic locations and needed the broader distribution channels the company was able to provide.

Spoiler: :: OA
A

4. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the fourth paragraph of the passage?

(A) To explain several significant aspects of the film that indicate its historic importance
(B) To provide further evidence of the failure of the film’s marketing strategy
(C) To present a comprehensive analysis of the effects of the Hollywood film company’s marketing plan
(D) To contrast the commercial failure of the film with the exceptional effort of the producers
(E) To introduce facts that contradict S. Torriano Berry’s opinion of the film’s significance

Spoiler: :: OA
D

5. The passage suggests that many of the members of Delta Sigma Theta responded to the 1970s Hollywood films featuring African Americans in which of the following ways?

(A) They appreciated the employment opportunities offered by the introduction of major films with primarily African American actors.
(B) They accepted the limited portrayal of African American characters as a first step toward broader media exposure.
(C) They organized campaigns across the country protesting the limited range of stereotypical depictions of African American life in Hollywood films.
(D) They mobilized their financial resources and organizational skills in an effort to present an alternative image of African Americans.
(E) They became aware of the many advantages of mainstream media exposure to challenge negative stereotypes.

Spoiler: :: OA
E

6. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini a historic African American film?

(A) Countdown at Kusini is the first recorded instance of crowdfunding.
(B) Countdown at Kusini introduced Hollywood studios to the marketing of privately produced films.
(C) Countdown at Kusini was the first successful film to present a more realistic portrayal of African Americans.
(D) Countdown at Kusini was successful as an educational film despite its commercial failure.
(E) Countdown at Kusini may have been instrumental in the establishment of the Nigerian film industry.

Source: Kaplan Prep Plus 2020

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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2019, 00:22
All correct except Q6 in 11 mins, including 5 mins to read.
Para 1- Delta Sigma Theta's(DST) venture to produce a feature film that would challenge one-dimensional representation of African Americans in the Hollywood films; Berry's documentary
Para 2- funding for production; African American entertainment luminaries not only supported the project financially but also donated their talent and expertise;
cost escalations in Nigeria
Para 3- DST's four-wall marketing plan; Hollywood film Co failed to market
Para 4- Non-financial significances- early example of crowdfunding and media activism; impact one nigerian film industry

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(D) chronicle the reasons for the production of Countdown at Kusini and the film’s significance- Correct

2. The author’s reference to a “four-wall marketing plan” (Highlighted) serves primarily to
(C) contrast the original marketing strategy with the one that subsequently failed
Even with the cost overruns, the movie could have paid for itself and perhaps even turned a modest profit if the sorority’s initial marketing proposal had been followed.

3. According to the passage, the sorority agreed to the Hollywood film company’s marketing plan for which of the following reasons?
(C) The sorority thought that, since the Hollywood film company had more resources and experience, the film company’s plan would be more effective.
Buoyed by the interest of the mainstream media, the sorority believed that the film company’s expertise in marketing and distribution would lead to broader exposure and greater opportunities for success.

4. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the fourth paragraph of the passage?
(A) To explain several significant aspects of the film that indicate its historic importance
Despite the film’s commercial failure, the project is remarkable for its prescience, providing an early example of crowdfunding and media activism; tangible in the modern Nigerian film industry

5. The passage suggests that many of the members of Delta Sigma Theta responded to the 1970s Hollywood films featuring African Americans in which of the following ways?
(D) They mobilized their financial resources and organizational skills in an effort to present an alternative image of African Americans.
While most of the funds were contributed by the thousands of sorority members across the United States, African American entertainment luminaries not only supported the project financially but also donated their talent and expertise.

6. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini a historic African American film?

(A) Countdown at Kusini is the first recorded instance of crowdfunding.
(B) Countdown at Kusini introduced Hollywood studios to the marketing of privately produced films.
(C) Countdown at Kusini was the first successful film to present a more realistic portrayal of African Americans.
(D) Countdown at Kusini was successful as an educational film despite its commercial failure.
(E) Countdown at Kusini may have been instrumental in the establishment of the Nigerian film industry.

Filmmaker S. Torriano Berry recounts in his documentary on the sorority’s efforts how, unfortunately, what could have been a historic project with the power to transform the U.S. entertainment industry failed due to the sorority’s reliance on the major movie studios’ traditional marketing and distribution system.

Moreover, the film’s ultimate impact may not be only historical but also tangible in the modern Nigerian film industry, second in size only to that of India. When Countdown at Kusini was produced, there was no filmmaking infrastructure in Nigeria.

The OA for Q6 is E. But in my opinion, I felt that option E is author's opinion. I am unable to link that to S. Torriano Berry.

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , VeritasKarishma , generis , other experts - please enlighten
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2019, 19:03
What is the difficulty level of this passage?

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2019, 21:12
ashita5678 wrote:
What is the difficulty level of this passage?

Posted from my mobile device

This is a moderate 600 Level Passage.

Thanks
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2019, 09:47
"6. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini a historic African American film?

(A) Countdown at Kusini is the first recorded instance of crowdfunding.
(B) Countdown at Kusini introduced Hollywood studios to the marketing of privately produced films.
(C) Countdown at Kusini was the first successful film to present a more realistic portrayal of African Americans.
(D) Countdown at Kusini was successful as an educational film despite its commercial failure.
(E) Countdown at Kusini may have been instrumental in the establishment of the Nigerian film industry.

Filmmaker S. Torriano Berry recounts in his documentary on the sorority’s efforts how, unfortunately, what could have been a historic project with the power to transform the U.S. entertainment industry failed due to the sorority’s reliance on the major movie studios’ traditional marketing and distribution system.

Moreover, the film’s ultimate impact may not be only historical but also tangible in the modern Nigerian film industry, second in size only to that of India. When Countdown at Kusini was produced, there was no filmmaking infrastructure in Nigeria. "

I find that for the Q6, the nearest answer is C.
not able to connect E with Torriano.
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2019, 10:39
dishankz wrote:
"6. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini a historic African American film?

(A) Countdown at Kusini is the first recorded instance of crowdfunding.
(B) Countdown at Kusini introduced Hollywood studios to the marketing of privately produced films.
(C) Countdown at Kusini was the first successful film to present a more realistic portrayal of African Americans.
(D) Countdown at Kusini was successful as an educational film despite its commercial failure.
(E) Countdown at Kusini may have been instrumental in the establishment of the Nigerian film industry.

Filmmaker S. Torriano Berry recounts in his documentary on the sorority’s efforts how, unfortunately, what could have been a historic project with the power to transform the U.S. entertainment industry failed due to the sorority’s reliance on the major movie studios’ traditional marketing and distribution system.

Moreover, the film’s ultimate impact may not be only historical but also tangible in the modern Nigerian film industry, second in size only to that of India. When Countdown at Kusini was produced, there was no filmmaking infrastructure in Nigeria. "

I find that for the Q6, the nearest answer is C.
not able to connect E with Torriano.

Official Explanation

6. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini a historic African American film?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

The key word “inferred” identifies this as an Inference question, and the context clue “one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini an historic African American film” directs you to the section of the passage that will provide the support for the correct answer.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

S. Torriano Berry is identified in the first paragraph as the documentarian who considered the film one that “could have been a historic project with the power to transform the U.S. entertainment industry.” The reasons for the project’s eventual significance are outlined in the fourth paragraph, and the emphasis key word phrase “most intriguing” highlights the discussion of Countdown at Kusini’s possible impact on the Nigerian film industry.

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

Any of the three reasons mentioned in the fourth paragraph would be the correct answer. Predict crowdfunding, media activism, and effect on the nascent Nigerian film industry alone or in any combination.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

(E) matches the third prediction and is correct.

(A) is extreme. The film is identified as an early example of crowdfunding, but not necessarily as the first.

(B) is not mentioned in the passage, as a connection between Countdown at Kusini and other privately produced films is not discussed.

(C) is a 180, or opposite, choice. The film was a commercial failure, not a success.

(D) is incorrect because the educational aspect of the film was not mentioned in the text.

Hope it helps
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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19 Dec 2019, 20:55
Hi,

Can you please post OE for all the questions?
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2019, 09:27
nkhl.goyal wrote:
Hi,

Can you please post OE for all the questions?

Official Explanation

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

Difficulty Level: 600

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

The phrase “primary purpose” in the question stem identifies this as a Global question.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

Use the passage map—particularly the topic, scope, and purpose—to predict the correct answer without rereading any of the passage.

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

From the scope and purpose, predict that the correct answer will say that the author is discussing Countdown at Kusini and its implications.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

(D) matches the prediction and is the correct answer.

(A) is extreme. While the text mentions these depictions, and describes the film as responding to them, the passage does not go on to criticize Hollywood’s portrayal of African Americans.

(B) is a distortion of information in the passage. The text does not provide the details of the presentations of African Americans in Countdown at Kusini, nor does it compare them to those in the Hollywood films.

(C) is a 180, or opposite, choice with respect to the U.S. film industry; in the first paragraph, the author laments the failure of the film to transform the industry. Although the movie did transform the Nigerian movie industry, this is just one way in which the film was significant; the purpose of the passage is broader than this.

(E) is too narrow. While the production difficulties were a detail discussed in the passage, this choice ignores the author’s focus on the historic significance of the film.

2. The author’s reference to a “four-wall marketing plan” (Highlighted) serves primarily to

Difficulty Level: 600

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

The key word phrase “serves primarily” identifies this as a Logic question; a question that asks how or why the author used a specific piece of information. The question stem provides the specific reference—“a fourwall marketing plan”—to guide your research.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

The reference from the question stem leads to the third paragraph, where the passage map describes four-wall marketing as the sorority’s original plan. This paragraph goes on to discuss why the sorority adopted Hollywood’s methods instead, methods that ultimately failed.

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

Predict that the correct answer will say that the author included the details of the paragraph in order to show a marketing approach that might have worked but wasn’t used.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

The prediction matches very nicely with (C); this is the correct answer.

(A) is a 180, or opposite, choice. The passage explains that the movie was a commercial failure, so the release was not successful.

(B) is also a 180, as four-wall marketing was the sorority’s proposed marketing plan, not the traditional Hollywood approach.

(D) is not mentioned in the passage. Since the sorority did not use the four-wall strategy, whether it would have worked or not is not addressed.

(E) is another 180 choice. Although the film did not recover its production costs, the four-wall marketing plan was presented as the way the movie might have been able to break even.

3. According to the passage, the sorority agreed to the Hollywood film company’s marketing plan for which of the following reasons?

Difficulty Level: 600

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

The phrase “according to” in the stem signals a Detail question. The correct answer will be explicitly stated in the passage. Also notice the context clue: you’re looking for the reason the sorority agreed to the film company’s marketing plan.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

The passage map focuses your research on the third paragraph. Skim the first part of the paragraph describing the sorority’s four-wall marketing plan and slow down when the contrast key word “however” introduces the Hollywood film company’s plan. See the lines “the sorority believed that the film company’s expertise in marketing and distribution would lead to broader exposure and greater opportunities for success.”

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

The correct answer will restate the idea expressed in passage

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

(C) is a perfect match and the correct answer.

(A) is a faulty use of an accurate detail from the passage. Although there were cost overruns, and it is likely the sorority wanted to recover those costs, these were not the reason the sorority changed marketing plans. The first sentence of the third paragraph indicates that the sorority believed it would recover even the increased costs with the four-wall marketing plan, so there must have been another reason why it switched to the Hollywood film company’s plan.

(B) is a 180, or opposite, choice. The first sentence of the third paragraph indicates that the four-wall marketing plan would likely have been successful.

(D) is not mentioned in the passage; the text never discusses the members’ inability to acquire sufficient theaters.

(E) is another 180 choice. The passage states in lines 23–24 that the sorority’s membership was extensive enough to recoup the film’s production costs.

4. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the fourth paragraph of the passage?

Difficulty Level: 550

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

This question stem asks for the purpose not of the whole passage, but of one of its parts. That makes this a Logic question. The stem makes clear reference to the fourth paragraph.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

As the question asks about the whole of the fourth paragraph, research in the passage map.

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

The passage map note will serve as a good prediction: the fourth paragraph provides the reasons the film is still notable, despite its commercial failure.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

(A) matches the prediction and is correct.

(B) is a 180, or opposite, choice. The contrast key word “Despite” at the start of the paragraph indicates a change of direction from the discussion of the film’s commercial failure.

(C) is extreme. The text does not provide a “comprehensive analysis of the effects” of the marketing plan. The passage simply indicates that the marketing plan failed.

(D) is incorrect because the “exceptional effort of the producers” is never discussed in the text.

(E) is another 180 choice. Since Berry chose to document the film, and since the author describes his view of the film’s failure as unfortunate, the fourth paragraph is supporting Berry’s opinion, not contradicting it.

5. The passage suggests that many of the members of Delta Sigma Theta responded to the 1970s Hollywood films featuring African Americans in which of the following ways?

Difficulty Level: 600

Explanation

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

The key word “suggests” makes this an Inference question, so the correct answer must be true based on the passage but is likely not mentioned explicitly. The context clue “members . . . responded to the 1970s Hollywood films featuring African Americans” directs attention to the first paragraph.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

The “1970s films featuring African Americans” are mentioned in the first paragraph, where the author describes the sorority’s response as an “ambitious” and “historic” feature film.

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

A good prediction would be they made a movie or some other straightforward summary of that idea.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

(D) paraphrases the prediction in different words and is correct. The choice includes more details discussed in the passage, but the meaning is identical to that of the prediction. All the remaining choices are responses that might be true but are not mentioned in the passage. Specifically, “employment opportunities” (A) and “broader media exposure” (B) are never discussed.

(C) is also extreme. While the sorority had members across the country, the only “campaign” mentioned is the production and marketing plan for the film.

(E)’s use of mainstream media to challenge stereotypes is also never mentioned.

6. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini a historic African American film?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

STEP 1: ANALYZE THE QUESTION STEM

The key word “inferred” identifies this as an Inference question, and the context clue “one of the reasons S. Torriano Berry considers Countdown at Kusini an historic African American film” directs you to the section of the passage that will provide the support for the correct answer.

STEP 2: RESEARCH THE RELEVANT TEXT

S. Torriano Berry is identified in the first paragraph as the documentarian who considered the film one that “could have been a historic project with the power to transform the U.S. entertainment industry.” The reasons for the project’s eventual significance are outlined in the fourth paragraph, and the emphasis key word phrase “most intriguing” highlights the discussion of Countdown at Kusini’s possible impact on the Nigerian film industry.

STEP 3: MAKE A PREDICTION

Any of the three reasons mentioned in the fourth paragraph would be the correct answer. Predict crowdfunding, media activism, and effect on the nascent Nigerian film industry alone or in any combination.

STEP 4: EVALUATE THE ANSWER CHOICES

(E) matches the third prediction and is correct.

(A) is extreme. The film is identified as an early example of crowdfunding, but not necessarily as the first.

(B) is not mentioned in the passage, as a connection between Countdown at Kusini and other privately produced films is not discussed.

(C) is a 180, or opposite, choice. The film was a commercial failure, not a success.

(D) is incorrect because the educational aspect of the film was not mentioned in the text.

Hope it helps
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Re: Responding to the negative, one-dimensional representation of African   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2019, 09:27
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