What Black Movies Can Do Better

At Ebony, Damon Young provides tips for black filmmakers who aspire to make movies that measure up to Coming to America and Love Jones.

We all know that we love us some Christ, but does every. single. Black. movie. need to include five to seven perfunctory scenes in a (always) Baptist church? Do we always need for the main character to have a 10 minute long soul bearing heart-to-heart with her “to wise for this world” pastor? Do we really always need to see a man wall-sliding down a pew as he struggles to forgo his past and reconcile with God?

I’m not anti-church, btw. I’m Christian, and I do enjoy attending church on Sunday mornings. Sometimes. But, it seems like the people currently making Black movies have collectively forgotten one of the most important characteristics about service. It is booooooooooooooring. Actually, let me rephrase that. Church itself isn’t always boring, but I can’t think of a less interesting way to spend my time than to watch someone else attending church, and including 15 to 20 minutes of church-related scenes in a 90 minute long movie that has nothing to do with church is the surest way to make sure people remember your movie the same way they remember whatever the hell their pastor wore in service five weeks ago.

3. Hire Better Writers

Consider Angela Nissel, author and former writer for ABC’s “Scrubs”. If Angela Nissel isn’t available, hire Issa Rae of “Awkward Black Girl” fame. If Issa Rae isn’t available, hire Baratunde Thurston. If they’re all busy, then hey, hire me! 

Read Damon Young’s entire article at Ebony.

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