“Audacious”, “Bold”, and “Creative” are just some the words to describe Justin Siemens new film “Dear White People.”
This film had a much “Spike Lee” inspired feel to it. I saw this film with a good friend and ironically enough we had a conversation prior to seeing this film that (unintentionally) set us up to watch this movie. In reference to the title of the film itself most would make many assumptions of what it is already about. However, the film digs deeper and explores many topics aside from the “obvious”.
As I heard the words “Dear White People” resonate throughout the film I felt a sense of “connection” with the main character Sam White, played by the beautiful Tessa Thompson (who did a phenomenal job by the way), I began to feel more comfortable watching the movie until the end. Sam White who is dubbed as controversial, bold, and audacious would leave anyone of any race uncomfortable for 108-min. This character challenges people to hold up a “mirror” to their face and take a close look at who they “really” are deep inside and how they view themselves and the world around them.
The longer this film ran the more controversial it got, from white students dressing in “Black Face” and being black people for a day, to “Coco” Conners (Teyonah Parris) denying her “blackness”displaying bone straight hair, blond wigs, and blue contacts, the popular extremely “easy on the eyes” Troy Fairbanks ( Brandon P. Bell) who has to keep up an image and status by dating a white girl. The film will leaving you nodding your head and shaking your head at the same time in moments that just get “too real” at times.
As my date and I were watching the film, I could not count how many times we looked at each other with mixed emotions. We were laughing, smirking, frowning, and smiling the whole night. As a matter of fact, the film got so real a couple walked out shaking their heads as if they were shocked at such truth and exposure on topics that people try to throw under the rug in 2014 or couldn’t face “reality.” Frankly, I laughed at the admonishment of the audience and those who walked out (which were only two people), because clearly they missed the whole message and moral of the story…or did they? Perhaps they just legitimately had to go home to the babysitter to pick up little Johnny due to an emergency. Either way the film was entertaining, insightful, bold and just all out “thank you God someone went there” in a film.
Thank you Justin Siemen…thank you!