A Commentary on “Black Film”

What does Black film even mean? Why do we have to build up blackness to a point it is recognised against the white? Why is this distinction forever relevant? Through my studies and life I have reached a point that realises this divide is constantly contested, systematically and historically. For identity is a thing, nationality and skin, we are locked within this complex compilation of ideals we did not even subscribe to. Nevertheless through it we can gain what we want, a Black identity where we lack representation. I jump at the chance to read more into my immediate history and the events in the past swept over by the standard of whiteness. Hence the Black Film has always captivated me. Though a few weeks ago I attended a Poetry event and this Black Filmmaker performed an astounding poem. Its premise was the fact Blackness was not the norm, that we have to form this distinction. He claimed he wanted a Black film, with a full Black cast, Black actors, being an unapologetically Black film. Though it would not be referred to as such, the idea of being Black was not the main attraction or not the critical factor. It was just witnessed as a Film like any other. This made my heart warm, as the thorns of what ifs and what not’s told me more. I remembered all the times I pitted my Blackness against white, assuming what I can do and what is right. I would fight for the chance for us to be the standard, but the identity we’ve been given and have built tilts our endeavour toward people maybe toward a sense of community. A negritude. Hence I will always have that urgency. Though for peers to aim to watch a Black film, predominantly Black with all things — for the media and critics to receive it on the same standard without accumulating Blackness, it shows both ends of its influence. I read this review on Moonlight and Hidden Figures which sucked ass, and the woman received them not so much through their Blackness but I gained a sense of judgement for that angle. It lessens the respect for the Award winning film, and adds another stain to the reigns of Blackness. Though I watched Moonlight and witnessed it as a spectacle that could be identified with all of us, it is a shame it has entered the same rhythm of being considered a wholly Black Film.