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Dear White People

Updated on December 15, 2014

Dear White People

Director: Justin Simien

Writer: Justin Simien

Cast: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner, Teyonah Parris, Brandon P Bell. Brittany Curran, Justin Dobies, Marque Richardson, Malcolm Barrett, Dennis Haysbert, Peter Syvertsen, Brandon Alter, Kate Gaulke, Brian James, Keith Myers, Bryan Daniel Porter, Terry Hempleman, Naomi Ko, Ashley Blaine Featherson, Jemar Michael, Courtney Sauls, Casey Millard, Avery Bilz, Baratunde Thurston, Craig Stepp, Michelle Wong, Nia Jervier

Synopsis: The lives of four black students at an Ivy League college.

MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use

Stevennix2001's Rating:

9 / 10

Pros:

- Great cinematography that gave the film it's own unique feel, as the slow close up shots were interesting to watch.

- Well paced

- Acting was good.

- Justin Simien does a great job directing this feature

- The script is cleverly written, with a lot of insightful lessons about ethnic diversity and stereotypes in modern society.

- Humor was funny

Cons:

- Some of the characters were generic stereotypes, but it helped shape the nature of the story, so it's forgivable.

- The movie can be a bit too silly at times, when trying to convey it's message.

A gripping comedy that focuses on the hypocrisies and drama concerning in racism in America...

Although I doubt this film will get much notice around Oscar time next year, it's still an interesting movie to watch if you're yearning to see something different. "Dear White People" is a harsh political satire about racism in modern day America, as it covers the hypocrisies concerning stereotypes of various ethnic groups (particularly white and black people) and the LBGT community as well.

Throughout the film, it talks about various things like how minorities have to work twice as hard to get to where they are in life, while implying that almost all white people don't have to work as hard. It also covers the stereotype about how some white people try to emulate blacks through music and various other means because they want to look cool. But at the same time, it shows how minorities try to emulate white people in order to get ahead in life.

In fact, there's even a scene where a character asks one of her peers if they were trying to be black enough for his black friends, or black enough for his white friends. This almost hints at a double standard in society regarding ethnic stereotypes. If an African American is deemed not black enough among his/her other African American peers, then he/she may soon find themselves being the subject of scrutiny. Some people might use harsh words like "Uncle Tom", an "a** kisser" or whatever.

However, there's also another ethnic stereotype that says if an African American is too black for white people, then it might come off as being too intimidating for them to cope with. Granted, I know some of these stereotypes might seem unfounded and unfair, but "Dear White People" isn't afraid to address any of them. While our modern politically correct world usually shuns away from talking about ethnic stereotypes, "Dear White People" forces us to see these issues for what they are.

Granted, it can show that fighting for equality can be important, but it also shows that it can go too far as well. Sure, there's quite a few arrogant vilified white a**holes in this movie, but there's quite a few knucklehead black people in this feature as well. The point is nobody is above reproach, and we're all not perfect either.

Unlike most movies that talk about racism in America, "Dear White People" preaches the message that it doesn't matter what your skin tone is, as we're all struggling to define who we are in this cruel unfair society. Granted, it's portrayed in a highly satirical and silly way in this feature, but the message is still quite clear.

Sometimes in life you just have to be true to who you really are. Black, white, yellow, blue, purple, or whatever. It makes no difference. Your skin tone doesn't define who you are, as it's who you are on the inside that counts. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, we shouldn't judge a person based on the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character. Why is it considered taboo for some people if a black man dates a white girl? Or why is it wrong for a white guy to date a black girl? Should it really matter? At the end of the day, "Dear White People" may come off as a witty comedy that pokes fun at the hypocrisies of racism, but it has an underlying theme about how we shouldn't allow stereotypes define who we are in life.

It's a powerful message anyone can learn from, and it makes this film arguably one of the deepest ones that I've seen all year.

"Dear White People" was shot with a Red Epic camera that helps gives the film it's own crisp and unique feel; which included various shots at a 96 fps. During the movie, it's interesting how writer/director, Justin Simien, chose to have various close up shots in slow zoom. It's during some of these rare moments that the film slows down to allow audiences to know what the characters are thinking at the time; while using a narration by one of actors during those scenes. It's an interesting approach, which gives the movie it's own unique style.

As I watched this film, it almost felt like it was shot sometime back in the 1960s, during the civil rights movement. Yet, it was being told during our era, which makes the movie all the more interesting.

As for the acting, I thought everyone played their parts rather well. Plus, the film moved at a good pace, and I thought Justin did a great job conveying the message he was trying to portray.

Sure, the film does come off being a bit silly at times, but it's definitely worth seeing. If you're into political and social satires, then "Dear White People" might be right up your alley, as it's chalked full of messages about society that I'm sure we can all learn from.

This Music Video Represents my thoughts on ethnic diversity

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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