The jury is out on how far we've come since the stereotypical portrayal of African-Americans in D. W. Griffith's controversial 1915 film, The Birth of a Nation, where black legislators lounged around barefoot, guzzled whiskey, and ate fried chicken. Yes, two movies about black teenagers, Precious and The Blind Side, were nominated for this year's best-picture Oscar. But after a sudden rash of Tyler Perry comedies (he's made ten in the past five years), Spike Lee said maybe we haven't moved beyond the coonery and buffoonery of Amos 'n' Andy after all.
The inimitable auteur Lee will host an Art of Directing master class at this year's American Black Film Festival, which comes to Miami Beach this Wednesday through Saturday. Now in its 14th year, the festival encourages diversity in the film industry and empowers independent black filmmakers. On Wednesday, the opening film, Takers, will screen at the Colony Theatre.
Wed., June 23, 6 & 9 p.m., 2010