Over the past ten years Hollywood has devoted big budgets and established stars to films about controversial issues, while identities previously considered marginal have come into prominence on the big screen. The authors examine the issues raised by these developments, bringing together debates in identity politics with film studies and launching an innovative theorisation of cinematic representation of identity. Movies from Forrest Gump to Philadelphia, from Malcolm X to Falling Down, have engaged explicitly with notions of multiculturalism and identity politics. This book is concerned pre-eminently with the meanings put into circulation by these mainstream films and audiences' readings of them. It provides a brief and accessible introduction to such issues as arguments over positive and negative images and the relationship between cultural representation and political power.