Black Cinema, a work in progress

Much is usually made about the absence of black cinema from the local/mainstream theaters and the only thing that is being released are Tyler Perry films but there is in fact a good number, and quality, of independent black films that have been coming out in the last few years. ‘New Black Cinema’ is in an odd purgatory of while not being as overtly self-conscious about race as Spike Lee (Medicine for Melancholy being the best example that I have listed), they still aren’t in a post-racial world where race doesn’t matter. So there is usually an odd confrontation of undeniable blackness that comes at some moment, however being human and an individual is still an important component of the characters.

Outside of obvious racial components that are most likely going to dominant black cinema for years to come, also developing under the surface is black sexuality as exemplified in Dennis Dortch’s A Good Day to be Black & Sexy. Also, homosexuality has begun to be discussed within the black community, in large part because of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the both the black and homosexual community.

I was originally going to just start at the year 2000, but the obvious dawned on me, had it not been for the success of Spike’s earlier work of the 90s like Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X, many of the mid and late 90s work wouldn’t have been green-lite.

Lost my train of thought, obviously will be edited and updated as more is seen and learned. Ya dig?

I’m steadily trying to get more of their films on Mubi.

Yvonne Welbon’s Sisters in Cinema is a must watch considering that in chronicles so much both black and female from all the back to race films to around the release of the film in 2003. The director currently has a site up dedicated to the film as well as a mini-database of the women chronicled in the film.

Dir. Clayton Broomes Jr. (Pro-Black Sheep)
Dir. Ava DuVernay
Dir. Tanya Hamilton
Dir. Barry Jenkins
Dir. Dennis Dortch (A Good Day to be Black & Sexy)
Dir. Dee Rees
Dir. Linda Goode Bryant (Flag Wars)
Dir. Laura Poitras (Flag Wars)
Dir. Roger S. Omeus Jr. (Finding Me)
Dir. Cheryl Dunye
Dir. Marlon Riggs
Dir. Julia Dash
Dir. Kasi Lemmons
Dir. Doug McHenry (Jason’s Lyric)
Dir. Mario Van Peebles
Dir. F. Gary Gray
Dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball)
Dir. Carl Franklin
Dir. Yvonne Welbon (Sisters in Cinema)
Dir. Troy Bailey (Let’s Talk About Sex)
Dir. Shari L. Carpenter (Kali’s Vibe)
Dir. Ayoka Chenzira (Alma’s Rainbow)
Dir. DeMane Davis (Black & White & Red All Over)
Dir. Harry McCoy (Black & White & Red All Over)
Dir. Khari Streeter (Black & White & Red All Over)
Dir. Alison Swan (Mixing Nia)
Dir. Rodney Evans
Dir. Hughes Brothers

Some great films that everyone should check out, regardless of race.

I Will Follow
Ava DuVernay
Night Catches Us
Tanya Hamilton
Medicine for Melancholy
Barry Jenkins
The Watermelon Woman
Cheryl Dunye
Stranger Inside
Cheryl Dunye
Tongues Untied
Marlon Riggs
Daughters of the Dust
Julie Dash
Funny Valentines
Julie Dash
Eve’s Bayou
Kasi Lemmons
Set It Off
F. Gary Gray
New Jack City
Mario Van Peebles
F. Gary Gray
Devil in a Blue Dress
Carl Franklin
Brother to Brother
Rodney Evans
Menace II Society
Allen Hughes
American Pimp
Albert Hughes
Dee Rees


About panamaenrique

Afro-Latino film lover in NYC. I love blues, jazz, soul, funk, and everything else under the sun. Any questions, comments, or concerns about anything I say, feel free to hit me up. My contact info is there and I'll be sure to give you a lengthy response about what I said and why I said it.
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