Remember when Black movies didn’t necessarily star a dude in a fat suit and a wig? Or have major plot twists timed to Gospel numbers for no apparent reason? No? Damn…
The title may have given this one away but Dear White People, a film from first-time director Justin Simien, serves up a sizzling hot slab of racial commentary and forces the audience to laugh and learn the whole way through.
Centred around four black students at Winchester University, a fictional Ivy League college, riots break out after a group of white students host a ‘black-themed’ party leading biracial film student Samantha White to voice her thoughts on a radio show which she has titled ‘Dear White People’. As Samantha discusses the micro-aggressions that frustrate her such as “Dear White People: Please stop touching my hair. Does this look like a petting zoo to you?” the audience – whether they’re people of colour or not – will recognise things from their day to day but presented in this way (Simien actually provided a ‘white people you have permission to laugh at this film’ disclaimer before screenings) it perhaps hammers home the point that racism, even the casual kind, is never ok.