As editor of this wonderful platform, I do get tired, and sometimes hand over duties to faithful friends and contributors of The British Blacklist.
So, here are some of my friends’ thoughts on some of the best Black films this decade has given us. Sidenote, ‘Black Film’ is whatever they deemed it to be. Sidenote, of course, they were given rules, but friends being friends, they do what they like hence why some are detailed, others are brief. I kinda like the variety… sigh. Happy reading, agreeing, side-eyeing etc.
Presenting Anthony and Teanne Andrews founders of We Are Parable’s, top 10 (in no particular order).
Get Out (2017)
There was not one word wasted in this film. Jordan Peele expertly weaves the themes of “otherness”, white privilege, and unconscious bias in a nuanced way and with devastating effect. I’ll never forget being in the cinema for the final scene – when Chris is about to kill Rose and the cop car turns up; she screams for help, and that’s the moment the audience groans. Because we know what’s coming. No matter what the truth is, Chris is going to go to jail. We know why. We know the system. The cheer that went up when Rod came out of the car! It was a wonderful moment to experience, and one that I won’t forget any time soon.
Fruitvale Station (2014)
To think that Ryan Coogler was in his mid 20’s when he made this is just astounding. His based on truth film centres around the final 24 hours of Oscar Grant an African American man murdered by the police. Coogler presents a heartbreaking film intertwined with real footage, with a fully rounded lead character played by Michael B. Jordan. It’s a necessary film.
Second Coming (2014)
Playwright debbie tucker green gave us this truly unique piece of work, which has never really left my mind since watching it. Idris Elba has rarely been better as a husband trying to understand how his wife (a brilliant Nadine Marshall) is pregnant despite not sleeping with her for over a year. We never get an answer, but the beauty of this film is that I don’t think we need one.
A wonderful, wonderful film, shot beautifully and impeccably acted. Seeing Black people on screen looking resplendent is something we take for granted now, but Moonlight was the film that made it the standard.
Black Panther (2018)
I mean, do I need to explain this one? Almost exclusively Black cast and crew. A generation of children growing up with a Black Superhero. The 1.3 Billion dollars made, showing that we want to see stories with us at the centre. That’s the cultural impact, but the film is brilliant as well.
When They See Us (2019)
It’s not a film, but it is Ava DuVernay’s best work. By far. Excellent performances run throughout When They See Us, and it’s made me excited to see what Ava does next.
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
It wasn’t greater than the sum of its parts, but I’m glad that Boots Riley’s film exists. A film that takes aim at corporate culture, whilst taking the audience on the weirdest trip in the third act, there wasn’t anything else like it.
I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
Hearing James Baldwin read his own words and hear the hope, frustration and anger throughout was something to behold. The fact that some of the themes he covers haven’t really gone away, makes the film even more relevant, shown with great effect by ending the film with Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry”.
Girls Trip (2017)
Watching this film in a cinema of almost exclusively Black women was one of the best moments in a screening I’ve had in the last 10 years. Tiffany Haddish should have been hoovering up awards for her performance, and (sidebar) I’m a little sad that her career seems to have unravelled into diminishing returns.
Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018)
Any film that makes my son say, “look, Mum and Dad, that’s me…I’m Miles Morales!” is always going to my vote!