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Old 19-01-2004, 15:04   #1
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Black films that reinterpret African American history?

I'm looking for black-made films (preferebly independent) that deal with African American history - any ideas?

so far i've got:

Malcolm X

and

Daughters of the Dust
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Old 19-01-2004, 15:20   #2
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Old 19-01-2004, 15:35   #3
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I think these can be counted as African American history films and they are made by black directors:

Boyz N The Hood:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101507/

Menace II Society:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107554/

New Jack City:

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0102526/

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Last edited by Psycho; 19-01-2004 at 15:37.
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Old 19-01-2004, 15:54   #4
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Old 19-01-2004, 16:06   #5
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Amistad (done by Steven Spielberg... who isn't black):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118607/

Ali:
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0248667/

The Hurricane:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0174856/

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Old 19-01-2004, 16:48   #6
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There's an acclaimed American film from 1998 called Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored about a black town in the early 20th century during segregation but I'm not sure this was ever released here.

Also Bill Duke's Hoodlum (1997) was about a black gangster in 30s Harlem. (Duke played Mac, the bald black guy with the razor in Predator by the way!)

Mario Van Peebles' Posse (1993) was a black western.

Van Peebles also made Panther (1995) about the black panthers.

Preston A Whitmore's The Walking Dead (1995) was about the black experience in Vietnam.

The Hughes Brothers' Dead Presidents (1995) was also partly about Vietnam.

Bill Duke's A Rage In Harlem (1991) and Eddie Murphy's abysmal Harlem Nights (1989) had historical settings but were not really about history.

In all honesty, I don't think there are very many films made by black directors dealing with historical subjects. Spike Lee's only one was Malcolm X and John Singleton's was Rosewood.

Films by white directors I can think of include -

Beloved (1998)

A Soldier's Story (1984)

Bird (1988)

Lady Sings The Blues (1972)

Last edited by Ol' Blue Eyes; 19-01-2004 at 17:06.
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Old 19-01-2004, 17:50   #7
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Do the Right Thing from Spike Lee?
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Old 19-01-2004, 19:11   #8
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Not sure about directorship here but Roots is an essential part of African/American experiences.

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Old 19-01-2004, 19:30   #9
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"Roots" was made by Marvin J.Chomsky, TV hack extraordinaire and is probably his best work. He's white, but the "Roots" phenomenon is, as Stefmcd says, essential to understanding the growth of African-American culture in the 1970s.

Spike Lee's Bamboozled is a brilliant take on the '****** minstrel' showbiz tradition.

Sidney Poitier's Buck And The Preacher is a black Western and quite interesting as such. The 1993 "Posse" directed by Mario Van Peebles purports to tell the secret racial history of the Wild West but doesn't, or at least doesn't do it very well.
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Old 19-01-2004, 20:24   #10
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great stuff - got more than enough to be going along with here, thanks
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Old 19-01-2004, 22:17   #11
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Not a historical film, but Melvin Van Peebles's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song certainly has a *place* in history.

It's made by a white director (Martin Ritt), but Sounder is the story of a black family during the Depression. It was a Best Picture Oscar nominee in 1972 but seems to have vanished almost without trace since. It's not on DVD as far as I know, and the US video release is pan-and-scan from 2.35:1. It's never had a British video release and I don't remember a TV showing. There's a sequel, Part Two, Sounder.
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