Favorite films

  • Losing Ground
  • Black Girl

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  • Soleil Ô

    ★★★★½

  • Black Girl

    ★★★★★

  • Black Mother

    ★★★½

  • Black Panthers

    ★★★½

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  • Soleil Ô

    Soleil Ô

    ★★★★½

    How Europe Underdeveloped Africa—the title, estranged from its Walter Rodney volume of political economy, might well caption this trenchant cinema-work, Med Hondo’s reproachful, unremitting 1970 epic. The careen and career of colonialism is its theme, though its episodes—of an acrid array of insult and disadvantage, hurled like a gauntlet at the foot of our nameless Noir—succeed the advent and supposed disassembly of that system which installed for European superpowers so many far-off tributaries in what would be known, with much…

  • Black Girl

    Black Girl

    ★★★★★

    senegal, circa 1966: the country is liberated—“decolonized”—from the grotesquerie of french superpower, yet apparent everywhere are the novel or retained dependencies of the new nation upon its onetime metropole. thus we see its people speak a french which is not their native tongue—though some think to disguise their fluency, pretend to understand only and not to converse in the language imposed upon them by their craven dominators. it is a preventative tactic: savvy gambit to minimize engagement with the sundry…

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  • Black Panthers

    Black Panthers

    ★★★½

    a dutiful but finally incomplete snippet of the historical vectors, the negrophobia and punishing social forces whose collusion against black life brought the panther party in ‘68 to the brink—of yet another crisis to be met by their bombastic flair and rhetorical flourish. that crisis, its occasion and attendant scenes of panther thronging, their agitation, their chic and soulful elan: the imprisonment and impending trial of huey newton, the panthers’ minister of defense, for a dubious murder charge. so the…

  • Handsworth Songs

    Handsworth Songs

    ★★★★

    contextualizes the outbreak in 1985 of race riots in Handsworth, a majority Caribbean immigrant neighborhood of Birmingham, England. through sly suturing of image and sound, black audio film collective (of which director john akomfrah is a signal principal), assembles a syncretic document of black urban dispossession, characterized by questions of survival and subsistence in a country which predetermines the dependence of a dislocated people (that is, a diaspora) on the very system seeking to reduce and humiliate them. in this…