“Moonlight” (2016) is a poetic and universal tale. It is a coming-of-age story for everyone who has every questioned “Who am I?” The central character in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s story is a Black American young man in Miami, yet he is also all of us, in all locations of this world growing up and coming to terms with our unique identities and surroundings.
“Girls Trip” is a film that highlights and celebrates Black womanhood in a variety of forms. This includes a honour roll call of Black excellence with people like Iyanla Vanzant, Mariah Carey, Mike Epps, Terry McMillan, Morris Chestnut, Estelle, Common, Ne-Yo, and Ava DuVernay who specifically talks about “Black Girl Magic”; DuVernay says, “It feels like a reminder, a rallying call, a term of endearment.” “Girls Trip” is all about the journey that is “Black Girl Magic.”
Everybody loves an underdog story, and everybody loves a sports story. “A League of Their Own” (1992) is a combination of both genres. The underdog is this case is the average American woman left behind as the ravages of World War II has stripped the country of its fit and healthy young men.
It is a pessimistic view of life in America, and for Yance Ford and millions of people who look like him, it is a daily reality: living with the fear of being treated as a second-class citizen in school, housing, employment, and the law.
The message of “Black Panther” is that the potential and influence of women must not be ignored or discounted. From the strategic actions of Nakia as an undercover spy and refugee saviour on a personal mission who will not abandon her calling, to the knowledge centre of Shuri, who has the final words of the film when she says to the injured Westerner Sergeant Barnes, “Come, there is much more for you to learn,” all the women excel as examples of depth and variety of the Black woman.
“The Virgin Suicides” film is a feast of watchers: it confirms that we are all watched and we all watch. Like George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” this film reminds the viewer that we are all under constant surveillance.