BFI screening: Dear White People

October 14, 2014

On Friday night as part of the BFI London Film Festival, I had the pleasure of watching one of the three screenings of Dear White People with Gabrielle Smith of TheNuBlack.
I am going to try really hard to articulate this, because words are not enough to even describe my love for the film. The film contextualises the everyday struggle of a black person. Before the film I was complaining to Gabrielle how I had restyled my twists and my housemate and a colleague took it open themselves to pat/play with my hair like I was their pet. I went on to say, when a non-black person gets their hair dyed or cut, I am not walking up to them asking to touch or touching with asking. I told her the story of when I was about 10 or 11 sitting in a line during school assembly when I felt someone tugging on my braids at the back. I turned around and noticed a girl around 9 was playing with my hair. I said ‘Excuse me‘ she said ‘Gosh I was just touching‘, like she had a right to touch. I responded ‘Is it your hair to touch?‘ When the issue of hair was introduced, I was in hysterics. I kind of felt like creator Justin Simien was my best friend telling my story from an American point of view. The film was retelling common scenarios which has occurred to me and put all my frustrations on the table with all seriousness drenched in humour and wit. Gabrielle and I wanted to watch it again straight after. It was so true to life that it hurt.

It’s the kind of film I will be showing my kids as a cultural reference. I think this film needs to be every black person’s go-to-cultural-resource.

A must see!!