A daring satire called Dear White People debates the current state of race relations between whites and blacks by depicting stereotypical blacks against their white counterparts. And definitely from the black POV, by entreating whites to reconsider their attitudes when it comes to social and cultural differences, and rivalling opportunities. Is it racist?
A high quality, hilarious and well-written, acted and produced "pre-trailer" hit the web on Wednesday, summarizing the theme of the proposed feature film, and linked to a website accepting donations to help get the movie made.
In development since 2003 by a talented group of writers, actors and directors poised on the edge of breakout Hollywood stardom, Dear White People manages to cover virtually every semi-taboo topic creating tensions between the two competing cultures, including black trend-worshipping whites and nerdy black assimilators, with probing, intelligent, scathing wit and remorseless authenticity.
The unusual trailer, written, directed and produced by Justin Simien, burns every bridge between the cultural gaps of black and white society, including interracial sex and romance.
But always landing heavily on the side of the long-suffering and quickly growing impatient blacks imploring white people to stop emulating their societal tastes and get on with their own lame ways.
Everything from movies exploiting black talent to addressing inequalities in the education system is wryly protested--clothed in a seriously funny joke.
Mainly voiced by black woman and student activist "Sam," who runs a college radio show, white students of the fictional Manchester University are lambasted for ridiculous behavior, ranging from the mildly offensive (Dear White People: Stop Dancing) to closing the vignette invoking the dreaded "N"-word.
It's okay. A black man says it.
The trailer seems to convey a fair and balanced approach, but whites are always portrayed as devious, manipulative or just plain clueless. While blacks are shown to be nearly endlessly patient, thoughtful, passionate and, ultimately, too cool for words.
It's clearly a spoof satire in the tradition of Animal House meets Do The Right Thing, and, if the trailer is any indication, it definitely needs to get made, if only for its deeply piercing wit, refreshingly mixed with high quality writing and acting talent and flawlessly delivered with top-notch production value.
So. Is it racist?
That's debatable, as always. Satire is intended to provoke a change in attitudes, and all great stories need their fiendish protagonists.
Plus, don't forget, as Sam herself says, "Black people can't be racists."
Want to help the cause? Contribute to getting Dear White People made by donating here.
But first, watch the "pre-trailer" here.
It's just brilliant.
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