We asked Assistant Professor of Film & Media Culture Natasha Ngaiza to recommend movies from Black filmmakers that she thinks everyone should watch this Black History Month. Below are those recommendations, along with information on where you can watch each of the films.
Get Out (2018) by Jordan Peele
Why you should watch: The consistent thread of humor in Get Out not only makes it a fun horror film to watch (especially with an audience) but poignantly reflects the way Black Americans have used comedy to survive the horrors of racism.
Where you can watch: Streaming on FX Now. Available to rent on all major services.
Black Is, Black Ain’t (1994) by Marlon Riggs
Why you should watch: This documentary chronicles filmmaker Marlon Riggs’ experiences with homophobia, racism, and AIDS and is also, remarkably, a beautiful celebration of Black life and Black joy.
Where you can watch: Streaming on Kanopy. Available to rent on all major services.
Love and Basketball (1997) by Gina-Prince Bythewood
Why you should watch: Charming performances by Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps and a memorable soundtrack by trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard make this rom-com a sincere, and intimate portrait of Black people in love in the 1990s.
Where you can watch: Streaming on HBO Max. Available to rent on all major services.
Rafiki (2018) by Wanuri Kahiu
Why you should watch: Rafiki’s bright neon colors, warm swathes of pinks and purples, and a beautiful, enigmatic lesbian couple make Nairobi, Kenya - and Africa in general –look like a place where queer love can blossom and thrive despite the homophobia in the background.
Where you can watch: Streaming on Showtime and Kanopy. Available to rent on all major services.
Touki Bouki (1973) by Djibril Diop Mambety
Why you should watch: This chaotic story about a rebellious young couple in a newly independent Senegal uses both traditional African storytelling techniques and a French New Wave aesthetic to create a film that is still so cool even 49 years later.
Where you can watch: Streaming on HBO Max and The Criterion Channel.
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