February, Black History Month, is just around the corner, and this weekend Denton will be having it’s 2nd annual Denton Black Film Festival! In celebration, here is an insight to some awesome films at the media library created by black filmmakers.
One of the classic blaxploitation films of the 70s, Shaft is about one kick-butt dude who will take on anybody and anything. Directed by Gordan Parks, the first major Hollywood black director.
Just Another Girl on the I.R.T (1993)
Directing-debut by Leslie Harris, this film is about a black & rebellious teenage girl from Brooklyn who struggles with her desire to escape from poverty with dreams of a better life. When she finds out she’s pregnant, she must also quickly gain maturity and step up to become someone who doesn’t want to be just another teenage black girl on the subway.The film won Leslie Harris a special jury prize at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival.
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Directed by Spike Lee, one of the most popular black filmmakers of our time, Do the Right Thing explores racism including within minorities, and discusses expectations people may face within each intertwined culture, all within the context of a hot summer day in Brooklyn.
A movie that may stand out from the rest, Submarine is centered around a young boy aimed at getting the girl of his world. With quirky dialog, unique set design (notice the color scheme), and all around youthfulness, this film is sure to make you feel some feels inside. Another Director-debut film, Richard Ayoade was nominated for British Academy Film Awards for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Submarine.
Directed by Dee Rees, Alike is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur and younger sister Sharonda in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity–sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.
Selma takes us back to the 1960s, where the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was de jure but not de facto, and discrimination continues to destroy black’s opportunity to vote. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (played by David Oyelowo) and his followers march from Selma to Montgomery, in the efforts of equality. This is an emotional and provoking film by director Ava DuVernay which reveals that from that even at the peak of progress, it is just as easy to slide down backwards as it is to move forward.
Denton Black Film Festival tickets and information can be found at DentonBFF.com!