Movie Review: Dear White People

Movie review: Dear White People  

“Dear White People” was originally released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Three years later, this Indie film was released on Netflix in the month of February 2017. There is a possible adaptation coming in April 2017. The filmmaker, Justin Simien was a little worried about titling his film ‘Dear White People’. Justin has written an essay about the subject as covered by Michael Nordine with IndieWire.com.

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This movie is a comedic satire reflecting on race relations and education on a prestigious college campus. This was a clever marketing tactic for releasing this film during Black history month.  The public celebration of Black history month has been quietly downplayed each year by society as a whole.  Minorities as a whole are not recognized enough for the valuable contributions to society and they should be every day.

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The Story

The movie starts with a mixed-race woman’s narration of her ethnic experience on a prestigious white college campus. The idea for this movie was based on disturbing recent true events; black face parties on college campus’ around the United States. The movie reflects on the systematic dissolving of individual culture in favor of a collective ‘european’ culture identity. The continued systematic deconstruction of an individual’s ethnic culture on caucasian majority campus’ is a real issue. Continuing this practice does not really address minority issues, it just sweeps them under the rug only with potentially dangerous repercussions later as shown in the film.

The Cast

The large cast of fresh new faces is culturally diverse. The movie features people of all races that you would likely find on any college campus. Some familiar TV faces can be seen in this film. African Americans, Asian Americans, and Caucasians make up the main cast. Other cultures may have been part of the cast but there was nothing said to note. 

Why be mad about it

Dear White People is not for the faint of heart. If you are easily upset by stereotypes you should not watch this.The act of ethnic shaming, cultural appropriation, and lack of cultural sensitivity is a growing problem everywhere. Dear White People has pushed some people’s buttons by talking about many uncomfortable subjects. The tough subjects of interracial dating, use of the ‘N’ word, profanity, drug use, white privilege, classism, sexism, systematic racism, institutional racism, and finding sexual identity can be emotionally overwhelming to those inexperienced with these situations.  “Equality feels like oppression to the privileged, and thus, three benign words send them into a fight for their very existence, which happens to it actually not [being] in any real danger,” wrote the director. “This is how a minute-long date announcement becomes a distorted call for white genocide in the minds of some people. Despite all signs to the contrary.” 

 

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Equality in America 

 

“Equality feels like oppression to the privileged, and thus, three benign words send them into a fight for their very existence, which happens to it actually not [being] in any real danger,” wrote the director. “This is how a minute-long date announcement becomes a distorted call for white genocide in the minds of some people. Despite all signs to the contrary.”

The lessons

The ethnic experience in the USA is a difficult one by design. Minorities, especially African Americans already live with an unhealthy self-perceptions left over from the civil war era. These negative images are continually perpetuated in many forms, seen in all media today. This movie reflects that not everyone’s experiences will be the same. Your personal path in life may be easier or harder than you think and it wasn’t because of you personally. We all have different life experiences that lead to our reactions and views on how we can handle life.

My observation

 I feel that this movie will open up a dialogue between people of different backgrounds. If you are offended by the questions the film brings up, you should evaluate your reasons why. Is it just YOUR personal beliefs? If you thought you resembled a shady character, what can that say about you? Strong conversations should be addressed with respect and organization so that undesirable situations can be avoided or eliminated.  This movie has good educational and entertainment value for nonsensitive viewers. It covered many different topics that the average person probably didn’t even think about with the possible “traditional” college experience. In the end, it’s just a movie. Be open minded and just give this film a chance, you might learn something. 

This was just a movie review. I am not affiliated with or do not own any rights to this film. All “Dear White People” scenes, photos, and film materials belong to the producing company.

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