Fans of David Bowie will love this film, but there is more here; Moonage Daydream does more than Bowie songs with kaleidoscopic imagery, it allows viewers to see the arc of Bowie’s thoughts and feelings.
Let The Little Light Shine, directed and produced by Kevin Shaw, documents the battle between a predominantly Black school, National Teachers Academy (NTA), and the encroaching gentrification. The documentary focuses on the parents, students, and principal of NTA but also covers the school’s initial struggles. Let The Little Light Shine shows an authentic look at a grassroots movement to save a school; a look at the politics, fake change, and catering to white people that places undue pain on Black people.
Mary J. Blige’s My Life explores the emotions and life of musical icon Mary J. Blige during her sophomore album titled My Life. That album struck a chord with a generation and spoke to their pain and struggles. It should come as no surprise that Mary J. Blige herself was struggling at that time. While the documentary, directed by Vanessa Roth, does talk to Mary J. Blige about the hardships of that time, it is more a reflection. Indeed, she has come far and part of what helped her, she acknowledges, were her fans.
Accepted is a documentary directed by Dan Chen that looks at the college preparatory school, TM Landry. The school touts a 100% college acceptance rate for students, but underneath that impressive record lies questions and harm. It raises questions about our educational system, the different schools and prep academies, and the inequalities that create a cycle of poverty for those already impoverished.
Who We Are: A Chronicle Of Racism In America is a documentary, directed by Emily and Sarah Kunstler and written by Jeffery Robinson, that discusses the issue and history of racism. Racism has been the foundation of the U.S. for far too long. It ties in Jeffery Robinson speaking at an event on the topic as well as a mix of archival footage from history, interviews and Jeffery’s personal experiences to balance both the broader issue of racism with the micro effects in people’s lives.
Subjects of Desire focuses on contestants for the Miss Black America beauty pageant. The documentary discusses issues of identity, Blackness, bullying, and the system that both envy their beauty while disregarding their existence. It charts Black women’s journey. Especially, as they are viewed in opposition to white women who are the center for beauty. It does not look at the stereotypes attributed to beauty pageants. More-so, it is the exploration and struggle that Black women and girls experience.
Summer of Soul is Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s (member of The Roots, filmmaker, producer, DJ) directorial debut and it is brilliant. Even during the pandemic, we had no reprieve from being targeted by police for violence and politicians and a healthcare system that largely ignores us and this documentary gives us a glimpse of where we are by looking back at where we were. We are tired; tired of the violence, the erasure of our achievements, our voices, and our worth.