2017 has been a year riddled with long-standing racial tensions in this country and the film world certainly took notice.
We’ve rounded up a list of the year’s best films that highlight racism in innovative and inspired ways.
Jordan Peele’s revolutionary release highlights racism in ways we have never seen on the big screen. Placing the underbelly of concealed racism at the forefront of this horror flick awakened the masses to the true nature of thinly-veiled oppression we face on a daily basis.
I Am Not Your Negro
This incredible documentary was written by James Baldwin — who died in 1987. It’s narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, and is mainly a collection of incredibly powerful letters and notes Baldwin prepared for several of his books and essays, including the unpublished project, Remember This House. The end result is a rattling depiction of black folks’ place in society; past and present.
When a popular congressman running for governor (Richard Gere) invites his troubled younger brother and his wife to join him and his wife for dinner at one of the town’s most fashionable restaurants, the subject of racism is at the core of a seemingly-innocent conversation. The film covertly addresses an often overlooked fact; racism can permeate even the most progressive households.
In 1892, a legendary Army captain (Christian Bale) reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief to sacred grounds, ultimately realizing that his deep-rooted hatred for Native Americans is misplaced and is as detrimental to himself as it is to the numerous people he has slaughtered. Racism, “white guilt,” and feminism underline this visually stunning and thought-provoking western.
The Big Sick
This refreshing rom-com written by its star, Kumail Nanjiani and his real-life wife, Emily V. Gordon, is one of the best portrayals of interracial coupling we have ever seen on the big screen. The funny, endearing relationship between the film’s two leads highlights what happens when stereotypes are examined and barriers are broken down through genuine, unexpected love.
When two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in the Deep South, they struggle to deal with life after war. Standout performances from an incredible ensemble cast including Mary J. Blige drive this heart-breaking film set in the backdrop of a harsh and unforgiving Mississippi.