I couldn’t quite make it to the Sundance film festival this year- it just wasn’t in my budget (however, I plan to make it a part of somebody’s budget next year). So I relied on reviews and trailers to get a feel for which films I definitely look forward to checking out once it finally hits my local art-house-films theater or winds up on Netflix. Here is my list of five films that I’m more than excited to see:
1. First I must start with the Sundance standout, Dear White People, by first time director Justin Simien. It is described as “a satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular ‘African American’ themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in ‘post-racial’ America while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.” It won the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent, but they had me at it”s tagline, “…a Black face in a White place.”
2. Blind, directed by Eskil Vogt, follows Ingrid- a woman who just recently lost her sight- as she confines herself to the comforts of her home and grapples with her inner fears. We also have this guy who is addicted to Internet porn and I’m not sure what his role in the film is, but I’m very much interested in finding out. This film is subtitled, yet the trailer provides no translation; So for me to watch the trailer and to be left wanting to see more lets me know that I instinctively have to add this to my list.
3. I am not the fond of the term, Black art, but I am very fond of Black artists and films that explore the work of Black artists. Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People by Thomas Allen Harris is a documentary that is described as a “multimedia outreach project that explores how African American communities have used the medium of photography to construct political, aesthetic, and cultural representations of themselves and their world.”
4. The film, Best, won Best Short Film at this year’s Sundance festival and is directed by William Oldroyd. The entire film is only 5-minutes long. The trailer below is more than two and a half minutes long. I’m just going to leave this here for you. (Warning: NSFW)
5. Fishing Without Nets, by filmmaker Cutter Hodierne, is described as a film that “tells the mesmerizing and sobering story of the bandits from the Somali point of view.” Shot in East Africa while using Somali non-actors, this film focuses on a young father named Abdi who turned to piracy to support his family. The opening statements of this trailer deserves a pause for thought and a reason to watch this film.