Film & TV

6 movies to watch to learn about systemic racism and fight against its violence

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, we devote part of our platform to sharing resources helping to educate ourselves and fight against systemic racism and its violence. Here are 6 must-see films to cultivate anti-racism in the future.
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How to become a good ally and realize that racism is everyone's business? After the series and documentaries , here are 5 movies intended for white people, allowing them to question their own privileges, and this, by educating themselves in order to fight against systemic racism in everyday life.

American son
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© Netflix

Released in November 2019 on Netflix, American Son examines the story of a mixed couple, when the latter finds himself in a Florida police station to declare the disappearance of their teenage son. If they hope it is just a runaway, the truth will be much darker. During 1h30, the director Kenny Leon plunges us into the reality of black mothers, when they have to deal with the multiple racist micro-attacks by the police, to whom they nevertheless come to ask for help. In addition to highlighting the racism and misogyny of the gendarmes, the film succeeds in showing how white people, even if they are in a relationship with a black person and have children, can be deeply racist. The performance of Kerry Washington, who plays the role of the mother in this film, is simply exceptional.

Queen & Slim
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© Universal Pictures

The story of Queen & Slim finds its source directly in the hot news of the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement. One winter night in Cleveland, Ohio, a couple ends their somewhat missed Tinder date at dinner. The girl (the extraordinary Jodie Turner-Smith revelation) is a brilliant but tough and lonely lawyer who has just lost a lawsuit with her client sentenced to death. The boy is a nice guy, a believing and considerate employee (embodied by the phenomenon of Get Out Daniel Kaluuya). He accompanies her by car when they are arrested for a minor offense by a racist cop who suddenly becomes aggressive. Everything goes very quickly, the policeman shoots in Queen's thigh - out of the car to protect Slim's rights - and, after a quick fight with Slim in the snow, the gun goes off. Slim and Queen become outlaws in a fraction of a second.

Directed by Melina Matsoukas, of which it is the first feature film, who made her debut with videos, notably "Formation", by Beyoncé, and "We Found Love", by Rihanna, for which she won two Grammys, but also co-produced by Lena Waithe, screenwriter, producer ( Master of None ) and queer LGBT activist, the film provides a better understanding of racist police violence, while emphasizing flawless photography.

The Hate U Give
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© Twentieth Century Fox

In The Hate U Give, George Tillman Jr., takes a different view of the racist humiliation shown by white police in the United States against black people. The story centers on Starr, embodied by the excellent Amandla Stenberg, a teenage girl who witnessed the death of her best friend from childhood, Khalil, who was shot and killed by a police officer. Faced with the many pressures from her community, the young woman will try to find her voice and fight for justice.

I Am Not Your Negro
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© Sophie Dulac Distribution

Through the words and writings of the black American writer James Baldwin, Raoul Peck offers a film that revisits the social and political struggles of African-Americans over the past decades. I Am Not Your Negro has won numerous awards including the Best Documentary Award in Philadelphia, the Audience Award in Toronto and Berlin (as well as the Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury), and was a candidate for the 2017 Oscars in the Best Documentary category.

Get out
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© Universal Pictures

For Get Out, director Jordan Peele analyzes the dynamics of interracial couples, showing once again that it is not because our spouse is black that we are not racist. In this horror film, Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, and his girlfriend Rose, spin the perfect love. The time has therefore come to meet the beautiful family, Missy and Dean during a weekend on their estate in the north of the state. Chris begins by thinking that the tense atmosphere is linked to their difference in skin color, but very quickly, a series of increasingly disturbing incidents allows him to discover the unimaginable. If the primary goal of Get Out is to entertain, Jordan Peele also wants his film to make the viewer ask questions about the prejudices that are formed from birth according to social background. With this film, Jordan Peele notably won the Oscar for best original screenplay in 2018, while he allowed to reveal Daniel Kaluuya.

If Beale Street could speak
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© Mars Films

Harlem, in the 70s. Tish and Fonny have always loved each other and plan to get married. As they prepare to have a child, the young man, victim of a miscarriage of justice, is arrested and imprisoned. With the help of his family, Tish engages in a fierce fight to prove Fonny's innocence and have him released… Directed by Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Speak is adapted from the novel by James Baldwin, to which the film is dedicated. In the casting, we find in particular Regina King, alongside KiKi Layne and Stephan James. For this film, she will win the Oscar and the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a supporting role in 2019.

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