Destination Planet Negro

It's called Destination Planet Negro by writer, director and co-star Kevin Willmott (who previously made the satirical C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, and teaches filmmaking at the University of Kansas).

It made its premiere in February, and is continuing to travel the film festival circuit. It's a genuinely laugh out loud, funny, and very clever spoof that, at times, approaches the manic heights of In Living Color during its heyday.

The premise itself is very original: a group of black leaders, including even W.E.B DuBois, during the 1930’s, gather together for a secret meeting to discuss the “Negro Problem” in America.

They decide that the only real solution is for black people to not only leave America, but this planet altogether, and, with the help of George Washington Carver, build a rocket ship to take an exploratory group to Mars, to check out the possibility of such a bold undertaking.

But as in all sci-fi movies, something goes wrong, and the three explorers wind up in present day America, to their befuddlement (For example in one scene, they see a black man with sagging jeans below his posterior, and speculate that black people in the future are so malnourished that their clothes are falling off them. And when explained to them who President Obama is, the shock is too great for them with one of them promptly passing out).

The first 30 minutes of the film are done in a campy 1950’s black and white sci-fi style, with appropriately cheesy music and special effects, while the scenes in present day America are shot in color and directed in a more natural, contemporary style, which is all even more impressive considering that, because of the film’s restrictive budget, it took Willmont an entire year to shoot the film, filming only a few scenes at a time.

All the leads are terrific in their roles, giving the film the right tongue in cheek comic touch - never too broad or with any self-conscious winking at the camera.

Hopefully the film will make it to your neck of the words, or will get a theatrical and VOD/DVD distribution deal, but it’s a truly charming and funny film that makes some genuinely real and honest observations about the mindset and attitudes of Black Americans today.

Here's the trailer: