By Thomas Esposito
Black History Month marks a time to learn about and celebrate the history and contributions the Black Community has made to society. Below are just a few films that display the Black community’s contributions to film across multiple genres and settings. These films not only tell a variety of stories based on true events but are a testament to the talent and passion of the black writers, actors and filmmakers who crafted them.
The Woman King (2022)
The Woman King was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and stars Viola Davis. This action drama centers on the Agojie, an all-female group of warriors defending their kingdom of Dahomey.
Where to view: Tickets available on Fandango.com
Do The Right Thing (1989)
Produced, written, directed by and starring Spike Lee, Do The Right Thing poses an important question to the viewer. Using a blend of comedy and drama, the film shows the racial tensions between African and Italian Americans in a Brooklyn neighborhood on a hot summer day.
Where to rent: Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu
Where to stream: Tubi, Netflix, Paramount+
Based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCarney, Moonlight tells the story of Chiron in three different stages in his life as he finds his true identity. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.
Where to stream: fuboTV, Paramount+
Glory stars Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington. The film tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. This historical war drama won three Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Denzel Washington.
Where to stream: PlutoTV, Vudu
Where to stream: HBO Max, Vudu
The Hate U Give (2018)
Based on the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is the story of the neighborhood of Garden Heights’ reaction to a tragic murder of an innocent black teen. This drama received critical acclaim most notably for the performances and screenplay.
Where to stream: Hulu, fuboTV
Directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo, this film is named after the voting rights marches that took place in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery. This drama received four Golden Globe nominations.
Where to stream: TNT, Vudu
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Judas and the Black Messiah is based on true events. The film tells the story of Fred Hampton, a Black Panther Party chairman and his betrayal by FBI informant William O’Neal. Judas and the Black Messiah earned six Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
Where to stream: HBO Max, TNT
Produced by, directed by and starring Denzel Washington, Fences is a period piece based on the play of the same name. This drama tells the story of how Troy Maxson tries to pursue his dream of being an athlete while supporting his family.
Where to stream: Paramount+, Epix, fuboTV
GIFF is a strong supporter of using film to bring light to the stories of those who have faced oppression. This Black History month, consider viewing these films and/or search for others to view or recommend to others. These films tell valuable and worthy stories and showcase impressive work by those who made them.