In later years, we have seen the new Black renaissance in the film industry and there is a boost of Black movies across all genres. As a collective, African Americans have so many interesting and cultural impactful films that have touched us from childhood to adulthood.
As an engaged viewer, the Black experience on film can be mundane, romantic, serious or traumatic, and all of these themes deserve an equal space to express themselves. As viewers, we can fulfill our movie preference by supporting Black directors and actors.
As streaming services support more Black movies, this gives viewers more content with new faces and memorable visuals for years to come.
If you want more coming-of-age films with Black boys trying to figure out their life, Moonlight is the film you have to watch.
The beauty of Moonlight is that it not only has gracious cinematography or the excellent actors, but also has the smooth storytelling of Chiron (Trevante Rhodes), who is on a journey to find his identity in the world that he lives in.
Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight does an excellent job showing the viewers how certain events in Chiron’s life shaped him into the man he is in the present day. These events include struggles with his sexuality, the shaky relationship with his mother and trying to survive in the same neighborhood that raised him.
People who are trying to figure out their life and how to navigate situations can relate to this movie. Moonlight is raw and unapologetic to its audience which will keep you interested and invested in the characters on the screen.
You can watch Moonlight on Netflix.
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
If you are craving an aching romance story for the ages, Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk takes you there for a while. Alonzo and Tish’s relationship is described as kind, tender and patient and they always melt the hearts of everyone who witnesses it.
Moreover, the cinematography in the film blends seamlessly into the warmth of the film. You will feel comfortable with all the characters and you will want them to succeed.
Seeing two dark skin leads exhibiting healthy love shows the diversity of romance that the film industry lacks. Even though Alonzo and Tish are living through 1970 racist Harlem that tries to separates them, their souls stay connected and shows that love truly conquers all.
You can watch If Beale Street Could Talk on Hulu.
Judas and The Black Messiah (2021)
Historical films based on prolific Black leaders are a hit or miss. But Judas and The Black Messiah is a must-see film to witness the Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, help the community in Chicago, while FBI hires an informant, William O’Neal, to take him down.
The beauty of this film is you learn about Fred Hampton’s views on capitalism and community building. The film did an excellent job portraying the Black Panther as a community group versus the police as a violent organization.
You get transported back to history and get to witness the same injustices, while you get more insight on Fred Hampton’s life and the mind of O’Neal.
You can watch Judas and The Black Messiah on HBO Max.
Black Box (2020)
If you miss watching Black Mirror on Netflix, Black Box will fulfill the nostalgic feeling of the exciting and societal progressive show.
Black Box is about a widowed father (Mamoudou Athie) suffering from amnesia because of a traumatic experience and needs a brain restoration doctor (Phylicia Rashād) to help him with unsettling results.
This film fills a gap and I enjoy the film from beginning to end because it has a mix of morals, drama and violence with a talented Black cast.
You can watch Black Box on Amazon Prime.
His House (2020)
Horror is a difficult genre for Black people because we were seen as victims in most horror films. They’re always the first one to die by a serial killer or supernatural entity.
In His House, South Sudan refugee couple Bol and Rial find solace in England with an old large house. Spirits and regrets from the past cause havoc in the new life they are trying to build.
The film introduced the concept of survivor guilt in a horror element. The past can be scary and alter the way you navigate your present day. If you don’t confront your ills with the past, there are consequences that will follow you.
You can watch His House on Netflix.