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Dear White People the movie

 
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newdiva1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 28 2014 at 12:23am
it's actually playing in my city.  i'll try to check it soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote QueenBee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2014 at 11:59pm
Is it playing in select theatres?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OoDles O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2014 at 2:00pm
I would say… dramedy 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Random Thoughts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2014 at 1:48pm
I heard that this is more drama than comedy, and def not as funny as the trailer made it seem.

Heard nothing but positive things so far...and I've only sought out opinions from black people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OoDles O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2014 at 1:40pm
I saw the movie. 
I give it 2 thumbs up.

I actually felt like this wasn't just a movie for white people to understand the black experience but it was also a movie that focuses on the wild awkward uncomfortable and racist moments (indirect/ or direct) that come along with dealing with whitey as we, as black people simultaneously struggle with our own growth, maturity and knowledge.

I disagree with the "tragic mulatto" reference. Sure she had issues with her identity but you only come to discover that towards the end and I think its explained very well. But I won't delve any deeper for the sake of not destroying the movie for those that haven't seen it yet.

Quote The dark skinned black female character “Coco” from “Dear White People” at the blackface party wearing a blonde wig and gold dress. Her character is made one dimensional and she is subject to critique for complicity with the racism of white people while the black male characters in the film doing the same are by and large not.

Coco struggled with her identity also. She struggled with attention but she went about it the wrong way…She was smart and ambitious but she only wanted one thing... plus she was the ONLY black person at the Black Face party because most of the other black people where at a meeting(black student union)…. but even she grew disgusted by what she was seeing after her misguided motivation for attention (she was a vlogger yearning for views ) finally fizzled out amidst all the racism. 

and to the bolded other than the main character doing some shucking and jiving  I think he was called out pretty clearly. 

anyways… I wont say anymore because I don't want to spoil the movie. Plus I'm not a movie critic so take my words with a grain of salt. I think its worth seeing because underneath the main umbrella theme, there were a lot of over lapping issues that made for a good story. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2014 at 12:47pm
I'll have to see the movie for myself.
Every time a black movie comes out there are nice un-needed think pieces on why it's terrible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 27 2014 at 12:38pm
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"Dear White People"- A Bland, Uninteresting Film made for White People

NOTE: This review contains spoilers

image

[image description: The movie poster for “Dear White People”, there is a white hand grabbing the hair of a black man with an afro and glasses and reviews overlaying it praising the film]

I saw a black person describe “Dear White People” today in 7 words as: Brilliant, Genius, Hilarious, Relevant, Honest, Needed, Loved

When I saw this, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes because after seeing the film myself a week ago my 7 words would be: Bland, Uninteresting, Uninspired and my friend rococobutter's poignant take on the film, “Social Commentary Blue balls”

The film has also been getting raving reviews from white liberal reviewers who love to pretend like they “get” race (see the poster above for just a few examples). But after seeing the film these reviews do not come as a surprise, because I know that this was a film clearly made for white people and with the white gaze in mind. This was a point originally brought up in a DC BYP group discussion we had after the movie, and which has become more abundantly clear to me in this past week reflecting on the film.

I think our first hint should have been the name, “Dear White People,” which squarely centers and appeals to whiteness. But somehow in the midst of all of the hype and hooplah being drummed up through the trailers, the framing of the title was lost on me and this became a film that was supposed to “take us there” in our discussions on race.

Boy, was I wrong.

In the movie, so many tropes are trotted out and reinscribed uncritically. This is where the “social commentary blue balls” that rococobutter was talking about comes into play. You see so many nuggets of very elementary and basic social commentary on race thrown out in the film (like the definition of racism) for the white viewers, but there are never any moments where things come full circle, and where this commentary can become a vehicle for critique of these systems. What I mean by this is that the film is basically just an assortment of basic facts (e.g. Dear White People, throwing a blackface party is racist) teaching white people about some of the racialized experiences of privileged black people in rich PWIs. Again whiteness is constantly centered, and the basic commentary that “Dear White People” does touch on never goes beyond the superficial.

image

[image description: Screencap of the black student association from “Dear White People”, Sam White, the tragic mulatto figure in the film, is center left. Image via Sundance]

And not only are there no self-reflective moments in the movie, but “Dear White People” reinscribes many of the exact same tropes that it ostensibly uses satire to critique as problematic. The most blatant example of this is the “tragic mulatto" trope, where we see the main character, who is of course a mixed light skinned woman, torn between her black and white sides, requiring the help of her white male partner to find her “true” self. The symbolicism of her “finding herself” comes when she lets her hair down after her white partner comments on it being up (from his perspective) due to her work in black activist spaces, and it requires that she leave behind all of those “demanding” black activists to be with him, hair down and all. The tensions caused in these scenes by the tremendous racialized misogyny and the political nature of black women’s hair are never opened up for critique, and this is the type of superficial, bland, incredibly problematic explanations of race and gender which are all throughout the film and contain no nuance.

In addition to the “tragic mulatto” trope that is dragged out in the film there is a general lack of dimensionality and voicelessness associated with dark skinned characters, particularly dark skinned black women, in the movie (which rococobutter refers to as the “2.5D” rather than 3D characters we see throughout the film), the bumbling, awkward and at times offensive handling of the black queer identity of Lionel, the complete absence of a class critique for all of the black people in the film, the failure to really critique the complicity of the rich black men in the film with the racism of their white peers (and only a real critique, of course, of the dark skinned black woman engaging in the same behavior), and, the kicker above all being that almost all of the black characters in the film get with a white person at some point in the movie. These were all points of concern brought up by several members of the DC BYP chapter as well. In fact, to top it all off, as I mentioned briefly above, the movie ends with the tragic mulatto character with her hair down waltzing off hand-in-hand with her white partner holding a pamphlet that says, “Ebony & Ivy.” And yet there is no real critique of any of this in the film, it’s all just thrown out there and the butt of the joke at the end of the day are the black activists who are made to seem “over the top” for staring at them as they walk off. And yet this is the film that is supposed to “take us there” in our discussions of race? 

image

[image description: The dark skinned black female character “Coco” from “Dear White People” at the blackface party wearing a blonde wig and gold dress. Her character is made one dimensional and she is subject to critique for complicity with the racism of white people while the black male characters in the film doing the same are by and large not. Image via IndieWire]

People will wax on about how “Dear White People” is (poorly done) satire, but if we are honest we can see that this is satire clearly catering to the white gaze. The white gaze is blatant throughout the film and Toni Morrison in this clip perfectly sums up how I felt as a black viewer:

“In this country, many [black] books, particularly then-40s, 50s- you could feel the address of the narrator over my shoulder, talking to somebody else- talking to somebody white. I could tell because they were explaining things that they didn’t have to explain if they were talking to me”

You can have a film that takes place at a PWI but does not appeal to whiteness, and effectively positions itself as an “African American Studies 101 Through Film” for white liberals who pretend to “get it.” One of the ways in which white supremacy operates is that it constantly asserts, universalizes and centers whiteness even within the context of our lives as people of color. We constantly frame our very beings and existence and even our art around the white gaze, white people and their wants and desires of us. We appeal to them, hoping that they “get it” and see us as human when they by and large never will. Instead of appealing to whiteness, we should be organizing within our communities to build independent institutions there and raising critical consciousness in these spaces, because as long as whiteness is centered in our lives, we will never be free. And this extends to our art as well. As long as our art and films are centered around reproducing the white gaze, we will never be truly free. “Dear White People X, Y and Z are racist P.S. psst… please stop!” will never get us anywhere because not only do white people not care, but it also makes whiteness central in the work we are doing. In essence, the basic premise of this movie was off base from the start.

The one deconstructive moment that I was waiting for and which was so crucially needed in this film was was a “Dear White People, nevermind” from the main character, Sam White.  And we got that at the end just to watch her waltz off with her white partner who had emancipated her from the “demanding” black activists she was working with. The one moment where whiteness may have actually been decentered, became consumed with whiteness once again.

And so when I left the theater after watching “Dear White People,” I was very much frustrated and disappointed. This film that was supposed to “push” the envelope on race instead reinscribed white supremacy by centering the white gaze. All of this in addition to the many other problematic aspects of the film, and I left irritated. These type of films that are made with the express purpose of explaining our experiences to white audiences no longer interest me. The best films I’ve watched in the past few months have been “Mother of George” and “Tsotsi” (both recommended to me by atane), films which are radical because they disorient space and consciousness by decentering whiteness completely. If you haven’t seen either of these films, they are a must and these should be the types of movies we are packing theaters to watch rather than bland, uninspired, boring films like “Dear White People” that are made to make white liberals feel good about themselves.

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Alias_Avi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 12:38pm
Producer speaking live on YT


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ladycoils Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 23 2014 at 11:43am
Looks interesting- I'll support it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DiorShowGirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 23 2014 at 10:20am
Originally posted by keepgrowing keepgrowing wrote:

Originally posted by DiorShowGirl DiorShowGirl wrote:

now i['m gonna ask my white co-workers if they want to see this with me, cause they invited me to go see THE HELP with them....lol..


Lmao I had a coworker at my old job give me "The Help" book as a present. Smdh.



Shocked oh hellz to the naw they did not
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