1. Dope, directed by Rick Famuyiwa
Looking like “KIDS” meets “Dazed and Confused” with a dash of “Juice,” “Dope” chronicles life as Malcolm, a Black hipster high schooler that’s still discovering who he’s meant to be in Inglewood, CA. Tyga and A$AP Rocky both make cameos, Forest Whitaker narrates it, and Pharrell Williams co-produced, while also overseeing the soundtrack. It’s the most buzzed about film at Sundance this year!
2. 3 1/2 minutes, directed by Marc Silver
This documentary explores the death of Black, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was shot by former White cop Michael Dunn in Jacksonville, FL in 2012. Dunn fired at Davis and his friends because they were playing music “too loud,” and outrage superseded the situation (likely from the racist overtone of Dunn’s actions). He’s since been sentenced to life in prison and Silver’s film shows how justice was finally served.
3. Lila & Eve, directed by Charles Stone III
Who else forgot that 2-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis was in “Out of Sight” with Jennifer Lopez? Well, 17 years later, the two are back together for “Lila & Eve.” A sisterhood flick that begins with the ladies meeting in a support group because they’ve both lost a child to violence. Soon their friendship helps turn that heartbreak into getting justice for Lila’s son. Here’s their interview about the movie.
4. What Happened, Miss Simone?, directed by Liz Garbus
If you don’t know much about the legend Nina Simone, it’s time you get familiar (and go download her music ASAP!) This documentary, set to be streamed later this year on Netflix, features incredible footage of Simone’s talent and thoughts, and was a collaborative effort that involved surviving members of her family. The film premieres before the long-awaited, controversial biopic starring Zoe Saldana as Simone.
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