For Reel


Dear White People (2014)
October 28, 2014, 1:14 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Justin Simien
3.5 Stars
Dear White PeopleArmed with a deliciously confrontational title, Dear White People attempts to disrupt the misguided notion that America has become a “post-racial” society. At its best, it adopts some elements of the anarchic attitude that its central radio host (Tessa Thompson) espouses in the classroom (evidenced by her film project entitled Rebirth of a Nation) or in front of her fellow students. If it feels declawed and a little too tidy by the end, the disturbing end credit pictures of contemporary university parties in which white students are dressed in blackface has resonance–while such a party is humorous in the snarky, self-aware context of a movie, writer/director Justin Simien’s addendum in showing the real life images reads like a “no, but seriously.” Simien may not yet be a particularly visual filmmaker (much of the film plays out in repetitive close-ups and medium close-ups, often shot from a low angle), but his brand of thoughtful antagonism is refreshing.

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