Tag Archives: Civil Rights Movement

Green Book

INSPIRED BY A TRUE FRIENDSHIP. In the early 1960s, New York City bouncer Tony ”Lip” (Viggo Mortensen) is hired by an African-American concert pianist (Mahershala Ali) for a tour through the Deep South; he’ll serve as a driver and security. This reality-based dramedy tackles 1960s race relations along the lines of Driving Miss Daisy (1989) … Continue reading Green Book

BlacKkKlansman: Joining Trump’s “Good People”

INFILTRATE HATE.  One year after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended with a murdered counter-protester, this film had its U.S. premiere. Taking place largely in the 1970s, Spike Lee’s most powerful movie in twenty years draws clear connections to present days, showing how the threat of racism simply won’t disappear. One of … Continue reading BlacKkKlansman: Joining Trump’s “Good People”

The Color Purple: Spielberg’s New Chapter

IT’S ABOUT LIFE. IT’S ABOUT LOVE. IT’S ABOUT US. In 1985, Steven Spielberg was known as the master of big blockbuster thrills after having made films like Jaws (1975) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Sure, he had explored other emotions in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and E.T. (1982)… but those … Continue reading The Color Purple: Spielberg’s New Chapter

I Am Not Your Negro

In the 1970s, the American writer James Baldwin gathered notes and letters for a manuscript called ”Remember This House”, but it was never finished. This documentary was based on it, with Samuel L. Jackson reading the notes as the voice of Baldwin. He’s a hypnotic presence throughout. If you’re not familiar with Baldwin this is … Continue reading I Am Not Your Negro

13th: Birth of a Scheme

FROM SLAVE TO CRIMINAL WITH ONE AMENDMENT.  A documentary that uses the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the one that abolished slavery, as a starting point for a discussion of how African-Americans are still subjected to racial injustice in the United States, may look on paper like a concern mainly for what conservatives would call … Continue reading 13th: Birth of a Scheme

Hidden Figures

MEET THE WOMEN YOU DON’T KNOW, BEHIND THE MISSION YOU DO.  In 1961, while the Americans try to catch up with the Russians in the space race, three black women (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe) make great strides at segregated NASA. Indie filmmaker Theodor Melfi, who made St. Vincent (2014), delivered something decidedly … Continue reading Hidden Figures

Malcolm X: How Little Became Huge

At first, Norman Jewison was considered as director of a movie chronicling the life of Malcolm X. After all, he had done a great job on In the Heat of the Night (1967), a film that took on the racial conflicts of that period in America. Jewison was interested in the project, but there was … Continue reading Malcolm X: How Little Became Huge

What Happened, Miss Simone?

HER STORY. HER VOICE. The Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011) director takes on another troubled celebrity and cultural phenomenon in this lauded documentary. Made in collaboration with Nina Simone’s family, the film celebrates the artist’s musical talents but doesn’t avoid her dark sides, including the abusive marriage, her bipolar disorder and how she treated … Continue reading What Happened, Miss Simone?

All the Way

POLITICS IS WAR. Shortly after swearing the oath in November 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson (Bryan Cranston) begins the struggle to get the Civil Rights Act passed, trying to please both Dixiecrats and African-American voters. Recount and Game Change director Jay Roach was the right person to bring the successful play to television. In spite … Continue reading All the Way

4 Little Girls: The Blast That Changed History

BIRMINGHAM, 1963. A SINGLE EXPLOSION ROCKED A COMMUNITY AND AWAKENED A SLEEPING NATION. When Condoleezza Rice was eight years old, on a September Sunday in 1963, she felt an explosion a few blocks away from her father’s church. The African-American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama had just been bombed by white supremacists and … Continue reading 4 Little Girls: The Blast That Changed History

Suffragette

MOTHERS. DAUGHTERS. REBELS. One day in 1912, East End laundress Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) accidentally finds herself in a suffragette riot and becomes drawn into an increasingly more violent struggle for women’s rights. After portraying a Conservative icon in The Iron Lady (2011), writer Abi Morgan took on the suffragette movement and showed the consequences … Continue reading Suffragette

10 Hollywood Icons and Their Political Awakening

A few days ago, I finished Steven J. Ross’s book “Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics”, where the writer has profiled the political careers of ten liberal and conservative Hollywood figures. He chose his subjects well, because they differ a lot from each other. Some of them were movement politicians, meaning they … Continue reading 10 Hollywood Icons and Their Political Awakening