Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Must See Documentary for Black Filmmakers...

This film is not only a must see for black filmmakers but for everyone who loves black cinema. But first, I have to send a BIG THANKS and much love to one of our Soul of Cinema sistas who turned me on to this film, Tori Abraham. Thank you so much.

This is a very important piece of work by one of the pioneers of revolutionary black cinema, Melvin Van Peebles. If there should be any convincing testimony on the importance of supporting black cinema and the continuing efforts of preserving black cinema to those who are have little or no thoughts on the subject, it would be found in this dvd.

For many years I have been frustrated with Hollywood and how it has stereotyped blacks in movies and also how it has tried to ignore us behind the scenes as directors and producers. Melvin Van Peebles chronicles the racially charged stereotypes of blacks in Hollywood from the "Old Negro" to the "New Negro". He also pointed out how this discrimination has inadvertently influenced how we perceive ourselves and each other in our community, which is evident in some of our black films.

Melvin Van Peebles is not only brilliant and cultured but his writing in this film is profound, not to mention he is notably suave and smooth! As I was watching this film I felt as if I was being schooled by one of our "Street Teachers". You know those cats that walk around here like; a bus driver, a shop owner or just that dude that hangs out on the corner with a toothpick in his mouth, you know the one, you wonder if he has a job or not. You don't think they know anything. You don't see them on your college campus but their knowledge comes from experience, observations and yes, books! They read too. He directs his lessons from history and his personal experiences from growing up in the ghettos of Chicago, showing his first film in Paris to upsetting Hollywood.

I absolutely love this film and look forward to sharing this film with my Soul of Cinema family and friends real soon. However, I do suggest that if you get the chance check it out for yourself.

Peace, Love and Sooouuul of Cinema,

Tamara Brown