Black History Month Films
As part of Black History Month our colleague and co-chair of PPL’s Diversity Forum, Terence Daniel, has recommended a number of films directed or inspired by Black creators and Black history. See below for a superb list of movies for you to watch.
Intro from Terence: Malcom X starring Denzel Washington almost didn’t happen over opposition from the Nation of Islam and a lack of financial backing due to the political subject matter around Malcom X and his death. It overcame all of its production issues to become the most vital civil rights biopic, and a must watch regarding the issues black people faced in America during the civil rights.
Synopsis: A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit rock bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim, and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.
Intro from Terence: Was Marvels first all-black led cast, with the late Chadwick Boseman as the main hero Black Panther. This film sparked a positive cultural movement within the black community, as for the first time young black children saw Black Africans as superheroes.
Synopsis: Marvel’s first Hollywood black-led cast. After his father’s death, T’Challa returns home to Wakanda to inherit his throne. However, a powerful enemy related to his family threatens to attack his nation.
Intro from Terence: Is a powerful movie about life, sexuality, black masculinity and identity, this emotional roller-coaster of a film excels in storytelling. It was the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBTQ-related film to win an Oscar.
Synopsis: Chiron, a young African-American boy, finds guidance in Juan, a drug dealer, who teaches him to carve his own path. As he grows up in Miami, Juan’s advice leaves a lasting impression on him.
Attack the Block:
Intro from Terence: South London’s very own John Boyega stars in this science fiction comedy horror based on a south London council estates. This film will not win any Oscars for its story telling or acting, however you can’t take away the joy this film brings to people who watch it, definitely one that will put a smile on your face one way or another.
Synopsis: A group of valiant teenagers ventures out to battle a savage alien incursion. With the invasive species jeopardising their vicinity in South London, they fight to succeed in their mission.
The Princess and the Frog:
The Princess and the Frog: Hard to believe that in the hundreds of movies that Disney have put out, it wasn’t until The Princess and the Frog that we got a black princess in a Disney film. Representation in children films is so important, so to finally see a black princess in a Disney animated film was long overdue.
Synopsis: A young waitress, Tiana, embarks on a hilarious adventure after her fateful kiss with a frog prince who cannot wait to be human again.