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What Would You Say Is The Most Important Black Film Of The Decade?

by Sergio
August 4, 2011 7:05 AM
46 Comments
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Funny but we haven't asked this question before on S & A, so why not go ahead ask it now. What, in your opinion, is the most important black film of the past decade? For me the answer is pretty obvious... Precious.

Now wait! Before some of you, I'm sure, start foaming at the mouth and calling me every name in book (though that's happens often enough), think about it.

Whether you love the film or think it's the vilest, most degrading film ever made (and we all know there are arguments on both sides) name me another black film (and remember we're talking about one that came out nearly two years ago) that has provoked as much heated and intense disscussion as Precious, and still does today? That in itself makes Precious a unique and important film.

I know of one person who has a DVD of the film, and yet still refuses to watch it. Despite her curiosity to see the film, just the very idea of its subject matter and what happens in it, is simply too much for her to even watch it. So the DVD just sits on a shelf collecting dust.

That has to be one hell of a film that you can't even bring yourself to watch, even though it's within easy reach. And it's not because it's boring or it's about something you have zero interest in, or stars someone you don't care about, or can't stand. But because you feel that it's too intense, too much of an overwhelmingly emotional experience just to watch.

When I talked to director Lee Daniels shortly after the film came out, I asked him if he set out to make a controversial film, and he said that he didn't. He wanted to make a film to help people.

Sorry, no disrespect to him, but I didn't (and still don't) buy that at all. He wanted to make a controversial film from a controversial book and I have absolutely no problem with that. What's wrong with that? I think it's great, and more importantly essential, to make movies to get people all riled up. All black filmmakers should make all types of film and that includes controversial, daring ones as well.

Would you rather make a film that gets no response at all instead of one that does, no matter what that response might be?

So that's why I pick Precious. I'm sure you have your own opinions on what the most important black film of the decade is and why. So tell us! And DON'T just give out a title. Explain why you believe it is.

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46 Comments

  • jazzmanchgo | August 9, 2011 5:34 AMReply

    Technically, I'm not in this . . . but I didn't read Cherish's comment the same way Seriously! did.

    I read Cherish as saying that some Tyler Perry films exemplify "our hatred of the Black career women. . . [and that the FILMS seem to be saying] that career woman is responsible for the destruction of the Black family . . ." etc.

    Nowhere do I see Cherish her/himself agreeing with this.

  • jazmanchgo | August 9, 2011 4:22 AMReply

    In many ways, I loved "Precious" -- but I also thought it missed a wonderful opportunity to challenge some of the steretoeypes on which it, itself, was based.

    Why couldn't there have been one positive female character who was poor, dark-skinned, and living in the same neighborhood as Precious? Why couldn't the rich cultural and historical legacy of Harlem have been incorporated -- the Hotel Theresa, where "Each One Teach One" was located, used to be where African-Amercian artists, political leaders, celebrities, intellectuals, and other notables stayed when they were in New York. Couldn't Precious have been taught some of that history in her classes, along with alphabet games and arithmetic exercises?

    Overall, it seemed as if "the enemy" in this movie was poor people -- not poverty, but poor PEOPLE, especially poor women. For that reason, the film disturbed me even as I reveled in the acting.

  • Bklyn Negress | August 8, 2011 3:02 AMReply

    City of God is one of my all time favorites and after seeing I Will Follow I remember thinking it's been years sense I've left the movie theater feeling such a sense of satisfaction. However, I think Tyler Perry's Diary of a Mad Black Woman is the most important Black Film of the decade.

    Diary single handily changed the trajectory of black films for the next 10-15 years -- if not longer. It is far from being a great film but it gave Tyler Perry more sway than any other black film-maker. It appears he has an automatic green-light to put his projects on both the big and small screen while Spike, who's probably the most revered black film maker of a generation, struggles to get movies made. Perry has also shown he willing to usurp others to get his way (see For Colored Girls and I, Alex Cross) For good or bad, those of us who consume black films will be feeling the impact of Diary of a Mad Black Woman for years to come.

  • CareyCarey | August 7, 2011 5:22 AMReply

    No Xi, with humility and honesty leading my voice, I don't think you've ruined anything. In fact, I believe we are actually in agreement, except for you take on how the film Precious made "you" feel. Besides, because the question was so ambiguous... "most important' ... how, to whom and why... I believe I qualified my comments, and Cherish caught the just of it. She said:

    "At first I couldn’t see Precious being that important, until I read Carey’s post on it, and I like how he “connected all the dots” between TP, Oprah, and the actors who starred in it.
    In that sense, I wouldn’t refer to Precious as the most important film of the decade, but rather a cumulative reflection of it"

    So Xi, if you read all my comments, I believe you will find that I asked the same questions you just asked. In the end, "important" can only be defined by the individual, since it was not clearly stated in the original question. And by the way, I believe I mentioned When the Levees Broke. So, again, we are closer than you words implied.

    ONE MORE TIME! So, in short, I believe this debate really comes downs to how a movie or movies moved the individual commenter as apposed to what movie was the most important. Well, that’s how I see it.

  • Xi | August 7, 2011 3:35 AMReply

    I'm a little late here, and I hate to ruin your nicely put, "closing statements" careycarey, but I think it's crucial to ask the question:

    What makes an important black film...important?

    Is it important because of its impact, influnce, and controversy with black people? Or is it important because of its affects on mainstream society? If it rocks our community to the core or gains national or global attention?

    As I write this I have to agree (under my breath) that Precious fits every category, but I must add When the Levees Broke to that list. And ill even put it ahead of Precious on that list because while Precious may have hit you with an initial shock, like most stated, it just left you feeling like "damn, that sucks" and you were immediately ready to let it go. When the Levees Broke had you ready to hop on a boat with a shotgun years after the fact (and God forbid you run into W. Bush on the street)! It's like the difference between putting on lotion and vaseline. One just sticks with you.

  • TJ | August 5, 2011 5:41 AMReply

    Honestly, I'd say "Crash" (2006 Best Picture Academy Award Winner). And yes, I'd definitely call it a "black" film, among other labels, especially reace. To me, it's easily the most important of the last decade, mainly because of its truth. It's just so real in its depictions of the way African Americans view each other, other races and the fear of our own race and others. To this day, Crash has stuck with me. It made me view the world different, especially people.

  • that dude | August 5, 2011 5:20 AMReply

    Hmmm, the decade means the 2000's, right?

    I guess you're right, it is PRECIOUS. Sad answer, but that's as good as it gets in this era.

    As for Tyler, you all do know he's the Ernest of black America, right? Remember those Ernest movies? They made a lot of money. But mainstream Hollywood didn't really care about them. Same with Tyler.

  • R.J. | August 5, 2011 5:12 AMReply

    I'd say "Precious" as well. Yes, I love the film, but even if I didn't I'd still say it's the most important of the decade because of the dialog it's inspired and its polarizing effect. Other films like "Mississippi Damned," "Night Catches Us," and "City of God" are great, well made films and well received, but they haven't had the cultural impact that "Precious" did and that's an important factor. It's funny, if you had asked this question about the 90's it would have been a tougher question to answer because of the sheer volume of ambitious content produced back then

  • CareyCarey | August 5, 2011 4:54 AMReply

    @ Danka Brooks, it’s interesting that you mentioned The Pursuit of Happiness. I always run the more controversial S & A posts by my lady and my son. They get to hear all my rants, preaching’s and the abyss in between, in their extended versions (ugh). So my son asked if anyone mentioned the “TPOH” or The Great Debaters? I told him this was a rough and very select crowd, but someone did mention the Great debaters and now you mentioned The Pursuit of Happiness. Well, for the most part, the more I read the comments, I bleieve they’re a small glimpse into the soul - loves and likes - of each commenter. My lady loves Tyler Perry’s products, my son has never watched one of them (refuses to). He also said Bernie Mack has never made him laugh, yet I thought Soul Men was funny as hell, and his standup always had me dying laughing.

    Just yesterday I told my son to bring over a movie that he loved and that I would enjoy. Well, his pick was “New York, I love You“, starring Natalie Portman, Ethan Hawke, Andy Garcia and many more known stars. It’s an anthology film joining several love stories set in one of the most loved cities of the world, New York.

    So, in short, I believe this debate really comes downs to how a movie or movies moved the individual commenter (as you implied), as apposed to what movie was the most important. Well, that’s how I see it. And least we all forget, Sergio is the mastermind behind this post, and he will be the first to admit that he loves shaking up the crowd, which he does very well.

  • Sergio | August 5, 2011 4:41 AMReply

    @ Seriously

    I had to jump in here but Cherish is clearly NOT saying that black career women are "killing the black family", but pointing out that that's the underlining message in nearly all of Tyler Perry's movies.

    Psst... don't look now but you're letting your personal issues (i.e. "I would have died waiting on my black father- aka “typical black man”.) cloud your judgement.

    But keep it up folks! Great discussion here. I LOVE to create a commotion. But by the way keep in mind I said IMPORTANT not the greatest. They're not necessarily one and the same. If I asked what was the greatest black film of the past decade then I would say, as far as I'm concerned, City of God, an absolute masterpiece.

  • Janice | August 5, 2011 4:39 AMReply

    The first one to come to mind is THE GREAT DEBATERS.

    "I'm trying to help you FIND, TAKE BACK, AND KEEP your RIGHTEOUS MIND." - Melvin B. Tolson (played by Denzel Washington)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-ORiYP3O9g

    Classic!

  • Cherish | August 5, 2011 4:20 AMReply

    LOL @Seriously:

    Please get some therapy for your Daddy issues, seriously :-)

    Sergio, thanks for the support and clarification.

    When I read "most important film" I was was thinking in terms of major impact, not critical work.

    I actually agree with Orville in terms of Tyler Perry being the major provider of acting jobs for Black people for the last decade. But quality matters more than quantity.

    VH1 also has been putting lots of Black people on air as well for the past decade - from Flava of Love to Basketball Wives. Are we gonna argue that VH1 is doing a great service to Black people?

    At first I couldn't see Precious being that important, until I read Carey's post on it, and I like how he "connected all the dots" between TP, Oprah, and the actors who starred in it.

    In that sense, I wouldn't refer to Precious as the most important film of the decade, but rather a cumulative reflection of it. Talk of Precious has died down in the industry so I don't see much impact today.

    FYI, I loved City of God, but never thought of it as a "Black film." Hmmm. What's my disconnect?

  • Ricky.Horne.Jr. | August 5, 2011 4:10 AMReply

    Best Film is undoubtedly City of God.

    Most important is I Will Follow simply because of the way it was made and distributed. Has inspired me, and Ava has hit on what will be essential for black filmmakers moving forward... OWNERSHIP.

    Tyler perry has a significant level of autonomy...But he is absolutely garbage truck juice aesthetically and is incapable of inspiring anyone with an ounce of quality.

  • misha | August 5, 2011 4:09 AMReply

    Come on now, Sergio. A film being the most controversial isn't tantamount to being the most important. I read Sapphire's Push and that, coupled with Lee Daniels' "issues," is enough to tell me that Precious ain't even close to being the most important. The irony of Lee Daniels saying he wanted to help people (BS) is that it's had the opposite effect from what I've seen. Now instead of using good, old-fashioned derogatory terms to describe overweight black women, the ignorant among us refer to them as "Precious." I know because I've heard it first hand. :(

    I must say that I'm a bit surprised that a few listed another horror film as the most important. Oh, what's that? Mississippi Damned isn't a horror film? Color me shocked! I'm sorry folks, but that film had me CRINGING throughout! And no, I'm not one of "those black people" who have a problem with "airing our dirty laundy" (a troubling mantra but a topic for another day). I have a problem with shunning the depiction of complex, three-dimensional characters in favor of being controversial for the sake of it. It's as if the writer/director of this film was competing with Lee Daniels for King/Queen of Pathology Porn. Blech!

    @Neziah, 25th Hour is one of my favorites and I agree..it belongs in the discussion, as well as Bamboozled and When the Levees Broke.

  • Sergio | August 5, 2011 3:42 AMReply

    A film that actually appear in during the bachelor party sequence.

    See I'm EVERYWHERE!

  • Seriously! | August 5, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    I almost gagged when I read Cherishs' backward- 19th century comment. Career women are killing the black family!??? Thank Jesus I had a mother who was working and not "behind her man". I would have died waiting on my black father- aka "typical black man". The black woman has been holding up the black family without a man for centuries as the black man complained about their place in the world. I'm appalled. With your backwards comments, you should stop using the internet.

    Black Career Women will one day run this world. I suggest you keep your eyes open.

  • misha | August 5, 2011 3:25 AMReply

    D'oh! I can't believe I forgot to mention a film by the name of One Week. Not only is it one of the best indie films I've seen but it's important in that it tackles a serious issue like HIV/AIDS and does so using comedy. In fact, what's so fascinating about this film is that it is mostly comedic in nature but never manages to reduce its characters into caricatures. Instead, said characters are depicted a real people dealing with a life-altering/fatal disease. One minute I was crying laughing and then bam! The realness of the situation hits you and it turns into a tear jerker. It's truly a funny yet thought-provoking, inspiring and poignant film.

    Seriously folks, if you haven't seen this film, WATCH IT!

  • Miles Ellison | August 5, 2011 2:27 AMReply

    Bamboozled is important, mainly because it pretty much predicted the rampage of blackface that we've seen in mainstream black entertainment. (I'm talking to you, Tyler Perry).

    Precious isn't important. It's a new level of dysfunction porn. It would be important if it inspired a desire to solve the problems it presented instead of merely inspiring a shrug and an "isn't that terrible" from the limousine liberals.

    In the not-too-distant future, Tyler Perry's films will be considered important in the same way that the Stepin Fetchit films and Birth of a Nation are considered important; as curiosities that academics will use to explore American society's racial dysfunctions.

  • misha | August 5, 2011 2:15 AMReply

    Btw, when I say I've heard it firsthand, I'm not talking about myself. But rather, I've heard a cousin referred to as "Precious" by other relatives and it led to a heated argument that almost ended in bows being thrown.

    Just wanted to clear that up. Carry on. :)

  • Ghost | August 5, 2011 2:13 AMReply

    I know the film snobs on this board bash Tyler Perry BUT at least this black man is helping other black people in Hollywood in a big way.
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Is he???

    I know a lot of black folks who are working and not done one thing with Tyler Perry. All thsoe women you named can be defined by roles outside of a Tyler Perry film.

    Now if he took his money and studio adn funded other films that showed a variety of the black race. That would be another story.

    But showcasing sorry black women getting screwed over by SORRIER black men is getting old.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | August 5, 2011 2:01 AMReply

    Ciudad de Deus, aka City of God -- period.

  • Dankwa Brooks | August 5, 2011 1:56 AMReply

    I have to agree with Sergio ‘Precious’ was the most important film of the last decade, besides being the most depressing movie I’ve seen since the EXCELLENT ‘Million Dollar Baby’. I didn’t think Precious was excellent, but it was an amazing motion picture.

    I DID NOT expect to like it as much as I did and it deserved ALL the accolades, Oscar nominations and awards it received. Yes it can be construed as “poverty porn” and I get that, but it’s depressing nature is what made it an achievement. ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ tried to be depressing and failed miserably. It just came off sorry and melodramatic.

    Let’s remember this is something broadcast electronically, we can’t touch these people and are really not in their presence. When a film can actually make you FEEL something good or bad, THAT is an achievement.

  • Laura | August 5, 2011 1:04 AMReply

    For me I have to say "I Will Follow"

    It is not only for the content itself. I well made film in which Black women are central in the narrative and it's not about men and at the same time not anti-man.

    More importantly, it was about not waiting for permission to create film. This film forged a path independence without "asking for permission". It is very inspiring. It may not have a mass audience impact directly. But it is truly a successful independent film. It has create ripples and we do not know how far it will reach.

    I personally think that for Black films anything Tyler Perry made because of what Cherish and JMac stated. Don't need to rehash or repeat what they stated. I think that TP have created more discussions than Precious.

    Precious film controversy created a relatively brief and intense discussion amongst critics, cineaste and the like. However everyday folk talked about TP films. Though the discussions may not be heated they are extended

  • sonofbaldwin | August 4, 2011 12:52 PMReply

    I vote for the only black film that I think regarded black people as human subjects rather than psychological case studies:

    Ava DuVernay's I WILL FOLLOW

  • CareyCarey | August 4, 2011 12:42 PMReply

    I am still perplexed by what some folks, or how some folks are defining “ most important” . “I think Micah nailed it in the second comment that hit this tread. She said: Overall you are probably correct about Precious. I have no problem with the film itself. I even enjoyed it somewhat. However I can understand some people’s frustration with the film in the context of portrayals of African Americans in film. It’s definitely seems to be the most talked about and watched African American film of the last decade. It’s a film that definitely crossed over into the mainstream consciousness”

    Hello! I believe some folks are letting their disdain for the subject matter in Precious to impede their ability to objectively analyze the film. I mean, Good Hair, “Mississippi Damned”, “City of God”, …“Pariah”? Now, someone did mention Spike Lee’s ““When The Levees Broke”, and I can lean that way because of exactly what Micah said about Precious... “It’s a film that definitely crossed over into the mainstream consciousness”, however not enough people saw it to make it the most “important”. That reminds me, if “we” lived on a remote island, a black island with no connection to the outer world, than I believe some of the championed movies might fit the cut. But since we do not, I don’t believe the words “most important” can and should be used in a dogmatic way. Granted, some on the list inspired they hell out of “us”, and left “us” with hope, however, so did Precious in many ways. Think not? Well, I believe it depends on what a person is looking for.

    Lastly, and on a side note, someone mentioned Tyler Perry. Okay, I could even lean his way for various reasons, and JMac killed that subject, and I’ve said my 2 cents on For Colored Girls. In fact, I did a skit about it. It’s not as good as Zeus’s horror flick, nor as professional, but it is 5 minutes long and it’s me doing my thang.


    HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEBnWXdGbK8

  • Tamara | August 4, 2011 12:07 PMReply

    On my ride home just a bit ago I was thinking on something similar to the topic you posit here. But I won't bring it up because I don't want to "hijack" this thread...Who's the Black Tilda Swinton? random, I know...so I'll just say that I'll have to get back to this "most important black film of the decade" after some thought (a good night's sleep).

    Already 18 comments in, my first thought upon seeing the topic transformed itself into a movie quote: I always get here too late for the snacks. Do you know where it's from? lol

    *hijacking ceased*

  • jps | August 4, 2011 11:59 AMReply

    or Hotel Rwanda. same argument.

  • sjp | August 4, 2011 11:56 AMReply

    Ray (2004)

    White director, but great story and performances from the entire cast.

  • neffynef | August 4, 2011 11:28 AMReply

    @JMac Yea Good Hair!!! Im dead serious. Hate it or Love it. It started a conversation with women who were not getting it. I am on a number of HairCare sites and I frequent Youtube something I wouldn't have even considered before the movie. Women are placing more attention to their haircare regimens. To see their own curl pattern and say Wow my hair is Curly as opposed to Dang my hair is Peazzie, Sisters with their own natural hair flowing down their backs. Like I said I vote for Good Hair

    Your cartoon The Princess and the Frog included us but was a very dark movie that we allowed our babies to watch because the Princess was black who yeah... check the script Would we allow our innocent 3 and 4 year olds to watch a horror movie before they go off to bed. Well thats just what folks did. :/
    Another movie I enjoyed " Their eyes were watching God"
    It gave a woman a sense of liberation, a chance to see love without the pretense and how much of a total risk it was to trust. Again Good Stuff.

    I am a lover of Movies and Good Stories. Our stories usually are painful and aimed at our throats sensibilities and minds. Sometimes a story shows you a truth about yourself that you cant ignore you might not like it but you recognize it!!!

    On another note : Precious was an in your face movie but what is your response? Are people more supportive of Incest Victims? Are people donating to GED classes? Are people getting tested for HIV in record numbers??? No the response to that was "Damn thats Horrible. " She has written a continuation of the story "The Kid" and the poor son Abdul is going to get the business. You know what that one I will sit out. like someone said earlier Controversy for Controversy sake. She will have to make her money off of someone else cause thats just Toxic. and thats just my opinion ~peace

  • lee | August 4, 2011 11:08 AMReply

    Since the question is most important black film and not the best I would have to say Precious is a good choice. My personal choice is Dream Girls. The Oscar nominations and the film's buzz were monumental.

  • Neziah | August 4, 2011 10:23 AMReply

    I actually own "Precious" on Blu-Ray and refuse to re-watch it myself. I guess you can call it important as it went above and beyond your typical black film, and was extremely controversial.

    The most important black film of the decade has to be "When The Levees Broke". Easily one of the greatest documentaries ever made and proof that Spike can do more than just make standard full length films.

    "Bamboozled" was severely overlooked as well. Everything that film depicted is on your TV screen right now in one form or another. Sure, it's a heavily flawed film, but it gets better with multiple viewings and its power hasn't gone away yet. If it got more support from the black community then I believe that Spike would've made more films like it afterwards.

    "City Of God" was brilliant, I agree with whoever mentioned it.

    "Moolaade", directed by the excellent African filmmaker, Ousmane Sembene. It was his last film and he certainly went out with a bang. Amazing movie.

    I loved "Antwone Fisher" as well, a very inspiring film.

    I'm surprised no one mentioned "Hotel Rwanda".

    Although it isn't a black film, "25th Hour" was directed by Spike Lee and is arguably the most important film of the last decade, period. As Richard Roeper said, "Spike Lee's overlooked masterpiece is the definitive time capsule of New York in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, which makes it one of the most important films out there." It rose in stature years after its release and wounded up on several critic's best films of the decade lists. I think it will go down as one of the greatest films ever made.

  • JMac | August 4, 2011 10:22 AMReply

    TP's already been mentioned but I would only nominate For Colored Girls. Had it's battlefield/controversy on the same level as Precious. If anything this film proved how great and how terrible the entertainment business is. Great that someone who may not have the background or education to make superior movies can still break into the business and put a spotlight on iconic pieces of black art as well as showcase beautiful, powerful black actresses. Terrible because someone who doesn't have that level of experience or knowledge can:

    1) Jack up a classic play to make it look like Women of Brewster's Place;

    2) Further rape it, by creating his own substandard interpretation of a play based on the real play (who the hell does that?);

    3) Bitch slap and crush an industry woman's dreams right when she was on the verge of a breakout into dramatic film after taking all the steps people expect from a serious artist/director/writer;

    4) Do #3 and still act like he's Mr. Black Love and Sensitivity - just look at how many people I give jobs to and how many charitable acts I engage in. Apparently being abused and broke means who gives a shit about other people trying to make a mark in this business with dignity;

    5) Have award winning source material, award winning popular actresses, and tons of publicity and $$$ yet still manages to create crap that was deservedly overlooked by the Oscar committee; and

    6) Anything else I've missed

    Honorable mention for Princess and the Frog - the first and only black Disney princess. Flaws and all it was still a nice movie to take my five year old niece to and watch her imagine she's the main character w/o that disconnect she can't be the character because she's the wrong race. I remember all the hounding black women did as soon as word got out about this film's development- people sneaking incomplete drawings, taking pictures of cells and uploading them online. Yes Jug, another cartoon :P


    @neffyneff - Good Hair? You've got to be kidding. I think more black women hated that "documentary" than Precious... esp. the naturalistas.

  • CareyCarey | August 4, 2011 9:49 AMReply

    Well, based solely on the question (most important) I have to go with Precious. Now I don't or shouldn't have to define the word "important", but all the other movies that have been mentioned (so far), pale in comparison to the plethora of thought provoking discussions, issues, topics, race relations, abuse ( black and white), Oscars (who, what, when and why) and Black Directors, the black voice, etc, than Precious! Heck, the crew of the movie speaks volumes all by itself. Mention Moniques, the discussion is on a poppin'. The same thing goes for Gabourey Sidibe (54 comments 2 days ago!), Paula Patton (how many times have we talked about her which brings us back to Precious), Mariah Carey (come on now), Should I mention Oprah & Tyler, and how they fit in the topic of Precious, and the impact they've had on the lives of people of color? Come on now, work with me, and what about the issues that hit the floor when Lee Daniels is mentioned?

    In short, everything I've mentioned all come back to Precious, and then a myriad of discussions/issues spring from it's roots.

  • Mecca | August 4, 2011 9:23 AMReply

    I like some of the films you guys selected "Mississippi Damned", and "City of God" are great choices. Except for the mention of T.P's movies.

    I know T.P has his own audience out there but the majority of moviegoers are not excited to watch a T.P film starring "Madea" the fat-mammy from the South who likes to say, "Helllllllerrrrrrrrr" or "Halleujer". I just think we are way past that now and that ish has got to go out the door!

    My choice would have to be..."Pariah" I really like this film!

  • neffynef | August 4, 2011 8:12 AMReply

    good hair by chris rock
    There was a movement going on before the movie came out that women of color were taking back their identity and unchaining thenselves from an emotional mental hold on their natural beauty.
    To me it helped unlock that last chain.
    Now naturals are proudly regaining a part of or culture that was lost to us we are more honest with ourselves and eachother and we are growing our own natural hair to waistlengths! we are rethinking what products we use and who we are purchasing from. we are sharing tips with eachother reaching out to eachother and loving us more.

    For me it was this in your face behind the scenes look at us good stuff!

  • Orville | August 4, 2011 8:10 AMReply

    I know the film snobs on this board bash Tyler Perry BUT at least this black man is helping other black people in Hollywood in a big way.Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Kimberly Elise all praise Tyler. Tyler is important because his movies focus on the black female experience even though he's a black male.
    How many black male directors make movies specifically about black women? The answer is not a lot since some black men are so sexist and anti woman.

    I am going to say Tyler Perry film that was released in 2010 or 2010. Tyler Perry is the most powerful black person in Hollywood history. I notice people mentioned Precious BUT did they know that Tyler Perry and Oprah helped produce Precious? Lee Daniels has thanked Tyler and Oprah a million times because he KNEW without their starpower Precious probably would not get the media attention it got. I personally don't like the movie Precious because i found it to be extremely unrealistic and also very stereotypical.

  • other song | August 4, 2011 8:01 AMReply

    I'll have to agree with Cherish. It has to be some Tyler Perry film. TP's impact is massive.

  • chiguy | August 4, 2011 7:55 AMReply

    Precious? C'mon Sergio, you are better than that. Please don't confuse controversy with importance. I saw Precious and afterwards it made me realize that some books don't have to be made in to films. Books like The Street, or Mama Black Widow. Great books with great stories but don't necessarily transform cinematically. When I exited Precious I just wanted to take a shower. If controversy is your criteria then hands down it wins, but in terms of importance it wouldn't even get the bronze. Best film hands down was City of God, but in terms of importance, the most important film of the 2000"s didn't even come out in theaters. It was "When the Levees Broke." The issues it touched on and addressed clearly make it far more important than Precious. Precious, I'm disappointed in you Sergio, you sound like a non black older female liberal with that one!

  • Cherish | August 4, 2011 7:49 AMReply

    It's a Tyler Perry film.

    Pick one, anyone. OK, how about Madea Goes to Jail?

    A Tyler Perry movie defines the state of Black cinema and hell, Black culture today.

    For Black cinema - it represents the quality of movies released in a decade where creativity no longer matters, and the Marketing and MBA folks control the studios over creativity.

    It represents the desperation of Black movie-goers who, in era where there are fewer and fewer movies with predominantly Black casts being released, will flood the cinemas to see any movie with black folks in it no matter how bad it is.

    For Black culture - it represents our move back down South, the resurgence of the Evangelism and overall right-wing Christian movement., and our new-found disdain for Black professionals and the college educated folks, and anti-intellectualism that's sweeping across America.

    Sometimes I think Black people actually reached the mountaintop, looked around and didn't like the air, and decided to come back down.

    And most importantly the Tyler Perry film represents our hatred of the Black career women, and any female who doesn't know her place (behind God and her husband). That career woman is responsible for the destruction of the Black family and her own woes and must return to the traditional family model in order to attain her salvation and find happiness again.

    The Tyler Perry film is THE 21st century cinema and that's why I nominate it for the most important movie of the decade.

  • urbanauteur | August 4, 2011 7:30 AMReply

    Crackheads Gone Wild(its a underground pseudo doc) no pun intended.

  • Kunle Adekolo | August 4, 2011 7:29 AMReply

    @kai

    Good call. I remember when "City of God" first came to DC. It was the best thing I had ever experienced in a theater, at the time.

  • kai | August 4, 2011 7:20 AMReply

    although, as someone said earlier how paltry the choice is, i m gonna go with city of god...

  • Sekiya | August 4, 2011 7:19 AMReply

    Totally in agreement. Mississippi Damned was COMPLETELY overlooked when it had some of the smartest writing and the best cinematography that any film with 500X the budget didn't even come close.
    Sadly, Film is really political and that is why great films like this don't go all the way to the Oscars. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT PRODUCT!

  • Kunle Adekolo | August 4, 2011 7:17 AMReply

    To expound upon my first statement, I would have to say that "Mississippi Damned" was such a good film about family, you on't think of it as a black film. Everything that happens to the different families in the film could (and does) happen to people of all races and cultural backgrounds. I think race was even only mentioned once in the film, when one of the characters was making excuses for why he couldn't find a job.

    Writer and director Tina Mabry did an excellent job. And the camera-work of Bradford Young is truly something to see.

  • Micah | August 4, 2011 7:14 AMReply

    Unfortunately there are not a lot of films to choose from.

    Overall you are probably correct about Precious. I have no problem with the film itself. I even enjoyed it somewhat. However I can understand some people's frustration with the film in the context of portrayals of African Americans in film.

    It's definitely seems to be the most talked about and watched African American film of the last decade. It's a film that definitely crossed over into the mainstream consciousness.

  • Kunle Adekolo | August 4, 2011 7:11 AMReply

    Good point, Sergio.

    I would have to say "Mississippi Damned". I was very impressed by that film.

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