Filmmakers of Color have always been a minority in every aspect of the industry. From having jobs as directors given to white directors, no Black representation on boards, a minority in winning awards, or even getting a nomination. Two decades into the 2000s, not much has changed in Hollywood. It feels stagnant.
However, with the colossal streaming services changing the landscape and economy of film-making more and more, and how Hollywood operates in particular, the wheels of change might start moving in bigger turns. The access to brand-new feature films and the latest theatrical releases is both easier and faster than it has ever been before, especially during the pandemic.
For movie fans like us and yourself, it is very easy to support filmmakers, artists, and actors from minority ethnicities. Watching them, sharing them, and recommending them to friends and others is the least anyone can do. Our goal with this list of movies is to display a few great movies by Black filmmakers and share them with you.
This list includes many great movies and series from classics to the latest of 2020 and is in no particular order. However, we tried to put the latest and the best on top. In 2020, the renowned director Spike Lee returned on the back of the success of “BlacKkKlansman” with a Netflix exclusive movie. Set in Vietnam, we meet a squad of US Army soldiers, nicknamed “Bloods”. The squad is on a mission to secure and retrieve the cargo of a shot-down aircraft in the jungle. What they find is a locker full of gold bars that they bury and intend to take for themselves later. Though, the Viet Cong counter-attacks and the Bloods retreats without the loot. Decades later, they return to the jungle to find it again.
Spike's first war movie received universal acclaim, with high praise for the cast. Among the actors, we see the late-and-great actor Chadwick Boseman, who championed the role of a superhero previous to “Da 5 Bloods” in the multiple Academy Award-winner "Black Panther” by Ryan Coogler.
“Hunger”, “Shame” - “12 Years a Slave”. Alexander McQueen’s masterful adaptation of the memoir ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ by Solomon Northup is a must-watch for everyone. To date, scholars and professors of the history of slavery praise its accurate representation of slavery in cinema. Director McQueen worked passionately with the diary-like memoir of Northup’s life after he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Washington D.C. – to turn it into a movie with dignity and respect, staying true to the accounts of one of the countless of slaves in America.
Comedian-gone-horror innovator Jordan Peele has stirred the pot of what horror movies are capable of, especially in “Get Out”. A mystery-thriller filled with different horror elements, it unravels the horrors within slowly and with a wicked sense of humor.
In queer Black cinema, Barry Jenkin’s "Moonlight" from 2016 was a milestone. Writer and director Dee Rees' directorial debut "Pariah" saw the light of day in 2011, which follows a queer girl struggling with conflicting identities and family and friendship in Brooklyn. Make sure to also check out “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Mudbound”, made by the respective director.
The first Ghanaian movie to be released worldwide through Netflix is "The Burial of Kojo" by Samuel Basawule, a hip hop and visual artist. The movie has received high critical praise for its dreamy imagery and poetic film making.
Ava DuVernay is becoming a huge name in the movie and TV series world, recently with her highly acclaimed “When They See Us” Netflix series, based on the so-called ‘Central Park Five’, five falsely accused suspects, and previously her movie “Selma” and documentary “13th”.
On the lighter side, the hilarious "Girls Trip" made by Malcolm D. Lee, - the cousin of legendary director Spike Lee - comes through with a road-comedy movie starring iconic actresses like Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Tiffany Haddish.
Around 50 series and movies, some you would never see anywhere else but on this list. Do yourself a favor and watch these movies with a simple click on its title page on FILMANDTV.com and you will be taken to a streaming service. Unless it is not available, hit the Save button and get notified once it is up for streaming on Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, or any other reliable platform for online streaming.