Saturated with sharp wit and educational tidbits, and smooth, contemporary soundtrack; Dear White People was well worth its hype. Even the title alone hinted into the film’s bold stance, tackling racism, which is often a sneered-upon and even ignored topic in most settings–particularly those made up mostly of whites. In conjunction with bold and colorful cinematography, the film wonderfully conveyed the multifacetedness of blackness and the inescapable reality of micro and macro-aggressions, as it addressed the struggles of multiple identities, ranging from black bourgeoisie to conflicted biracial, at a predominantly white institution.
A range of topics subtly came into play, such as hints at themes of colorism, the struggles of interracial relations while entrenched in the one’s racial and political identity–even while floating in the wind–and even delving as far as the dynamicness of female sexuality. The film engaged self-reflection, as everyone in the audience could see a piece of his or herself in one of the characters. It was also an honest piece of work, invoking the realization that kinfolk aren’t always kinfolk, considering that the differences in these identities conflicted until the very end, when it all boiled to steam and, blackness, despite differing POVs, was the strongest and most relevant bonding force in such an environment.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film and its satirical, moderately avant-garde approach to black identities and struggles. One thing, however, that I must critique was the half-assed attempt at incorporating the black queer identity into the mix. It seemed lost in translation; despite Tyler James Williams being a brilliant actor, it felt forced–ultimately insufficient in representing the black queer identity.
Despite the lack of accordance amongst the black student body, one thing stood out in the end, and that was the white population’s lack of respect for the humanity of their black peers, as they zealously caught the bait of attending such a dehumanizing function, parading around foolishly in blackface; placing monetary gain over the representation of the black student population, and engaging in romantic extortion, with bribes of inclusion, which were ultimately exposed to be a desire to infiltrate blackness to be used as entertainment, facilitating a way to climb the ranks.
I would most certainly recommend this film. An amalgam of intellect, humor, vibrant cinematography and a vivacious and easy-to-digest look at the reality of black students in predominantly white setting, Dear White People was a piece of art.