A look into the wonderful world of black cinema

A look into the wonderful world of black cinema

A look into the wonderful world of black cinema
February 20
12:44 2019

We create art to express ourselves and the stories that live inside of us, but most importantly we create art to speak to others and tell the narratives of people and events that came before us and will come after us. Black cinema has done this from its very beginning. The films black actors, writers, directors and producers created and continue to create have begun movements, enlightened the ignorant, obliterated silence and transformed lives. Here is just a few of those hundreds of magnificent black films you need to add to your film repertoire.

“Do the Right Thing”

“Do the Right Thing” came out in the late ’80s, but unfortunately the theme of the film is still relevant to the cultural atmosphere of today. The film contains a Shakespearean tone focusing on a record-breaking hot day in Brooklyn that gives rise to violence based on horrendous bigotry and racism that is released among the streets. After this film you will be left reflecting on everything you thought you already knew about society and the way we treat each other. The film was both written and directed by Spike Lee and stars Danny Aiello and Ruby Dee.

“Hidden Figures”

There is still so much to black history that has yet to be properly discovered and “Hidden Figures” is a prime example of that. Katherine G. Johnson joined NASA in the 1950s. She is a beyond intellect mathematician who aided to the arrival of many of the first Americans into space. Taraji P. Henson plays Johnson brilliantly in this film alongside her fellow co-stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae.

“The Color Purple”

“The Color Purple,” which was originally a beloved novel, came out in the mid-1980s. The film centers around black women in 1930s’ rural Georgia. “The Color Purple” beautifully illustrates the strength and tenacity black women held then and now. Not only does the film contain a spectaular cast and crew including Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg and Steven Spielberg, the story will touch your heart in a way you will never allow be able to forget.

 “Love and Basketball”

One of the first times I had seen black love portrayed on film was in “Love and Basketball”. Although there had been numerous past films starring black couples, “Love and Basketball” was different. There was no severe racial turmoil in this film that plagued the two main characters and overshadowed their love. All you saw was two young people growing and learning how to love. The film stars Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps and should definitely be added to your watchlist.

“Get Out”

There has never been a film like “Get Out.” Director Jordan Peele created a place of his own when he made this film, taking the horror genre and molding it to translate the realities of being black in America. The film stars Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who brings to life the journey and struggle that come with trying to be in a society that often works so hard to keep you out. The film was nominated for four Oscars last year and led to Peele’s win for Best Adapted Screenplay.

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Originally written as a novel by the late great James Baldwin, “If Beale Street Could Talk” exemplifies the injustices that went on and are still tormenting the black community. The film focuses on a young black couple whom are torn apart when the man is accused of a crime he did not commit. The leads Kiki Layne, Regina King and Stephan James as well as the rest of the cast embodied Baldwin’s work in an authentic and respectful way he would be proud of.

“Selma”

When looking back on footage of the terrifying events that took place in Alabama, you can’t help but feel broken. As people walked through the streets of Selma to Montgomery in pursuit of their right to vote, guided by Martin Luther King Jr., they were brutally beaten and attacked by the police. Taking such an event and placing it on the screen is a monumentous responsibility director Ava Duvernay took on exceptionally. “Selma” will make you laugh, but it will also bring you to tears. This film will live on for a long time much like its main character.

“Black Panther”

“Black Panther” took the world by storm last year, turning out about $1 billion in revenue. The film stars the first black Marvel superhero to have their own film and has moved the hearts of millions. “Black Panther” gave black people a sense of home, a way of looking up at a screen and seeing themselves through the lens of hope and prosperity. Along with widespread popularity, the film has received much critical acclaim garnering it six Oscar nominations this year.

Featured Image: Courtesy Facebook.

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Vanessa McTillmon

Vanessa McTillmon

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