A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world. Written by
Sam makes a student film that is critical of what she sees as white people's widespread fear of Barack Obama and titles it "Rebirth of a Nation." This is a reference not only to D.W. Griffith's notoriously racist 1915 Civil War movie The Birth of a Nation (1915) but also to something that filmmaker Spike Lee experienced while he was a first-year student at NYU's graduate film school. After being required to watch Griffith's film and objecting to the fact that his professors taught it only as a milestone in the technical development of cinema with no attention paid to its racism and its legacy of helping to relaunch the KKK, Lee made a student short film titled The Answer (1980) that responded to The Birth of a Nation himself. "The Answer" so offended many of his NYU professors that Lee was nearly expelled from NYU, but was ultimately saved by a faculty vote. See more »
The flame on the candle in Sam's room on Halloween night is static, revealing that it is fake. See more »
...Might I also remind you that I read your entire fifteen-page unsolicited treatise on why the Gremlins is actually about suburban white fear of black culture.
The Gremlins are loud, talk in slang, are addicted to fried chicken and freak out when you get their hair wet.
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The end credits include photographs of the real-life blackface (and brownface) college parties that inspired the film's climax. See more »
Dear Brown People...Yes, I see I have already offended some people with this title. I made myself set through the whole monotonous film trying to something out of it. It just didn't happen. It was like an after-school special that was an hour too long. I believe Justin Simien had to create this movie to remove some pent-up emotion from some traumatic racial episode he has had in the past. I am giving it a 3 only because I am feeling in a generous mood today. I believe Rodney King could have created a movie called 'Can't We all Just Get Along' and it would have been ten times more entertaining than this depiction of racial hatred. I had a bad feeling those who were not singing 'Follow the drinking gourd' in the theater might be escorted out...
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