Shani Hilton rejects the idea that 2013 – which saw the release of 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, Fruitvale Station, and Best Man Holiday – marked a watershed moment for black films:
[H]onoring the achievements of black filmmakers by declaring it “their” year does them a disservice. Lumping together heavy dramas with lighthearted romcoms simply because of the skin color of the actors or director prevents these films from being measured against the whiter counterparts that actually share their genre — inadvertently ghettoizing the former and protecting the latter from scrutiny. It’s difficult to imagine pulling, say, Blue Is the Warmest Colour, The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, and The Fifth Estate into a story declaring 2013 the year of the “white movie.”
Aisha Harris calls for more focus on films that show that “there is much more to life as a modern-day black individual in America than the legacy of slavery and the struggle for civil rights”:
Several fictional films about contemporary black life were released this year, although most of them got little attention compared to the likes of Fruitvale Station, et al. Mother of George, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, and Big Words, for instance, all received critical praise. … These are not nostalgic movies. And they are not about slavery, civil rights, or police brutality. But that doesn’t make these films any less thought-provoking. Maybe if we champion them today, more movies like these will get made tomorrow. I hope so.
Harris recommends Terence Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (trailer above). Previous Dish on the subject here.