While representation in film today is something that is now embedded in the awareness of producers everywhere, it wasn’t always that way. “Is That Black Enough For You”, the new documentary being released this weekend takes a deep dive in the advancement of the black community in film.
If effectively accomplishes what it sets out to do and at almost every step offers something even movie experts might not be aware of.
Elvis Mitchell gives us a thorough look back through the decades, stretching as far into the past into the oldest examples of black actors and directors in film. Using impressive archive footage, and some terrific interviews, we’re constantly learning.
And that’s what a documentary should be doing.
We get some great descriptions of the evolution the careers of such stars such as Harry Belafonte and Sammy Davis have taken, as well as some names you may not have heard of. My favorite part of the screening was listening to interviews from today’s stars such as Samuel L. Jackson and Lawrence Fishburne to Zendaya. They enjoy talking about it, so we enjoy listening to it. And you might never look at Night of the Living Dead and other movies the same way when its examined under this microscope. Every point is made effectively.
If I had to point out some negatives, it would have to be how long the documentary is. At 2 hours and 15 minutes, we start wondering if it would have been a better mini series than a stand alone presentation. This can also be a tougher watch at times. It’s a hard look at the industry which at times has been unfair and cruel to many who have tried to achieve the dream of creating something special to share with the world.
But “Is That Black Enough For You” should be required watching for those who enjoy really film and want to take their knowledge to the next level in an area that we know surprisingly little about. It’s remarkable that this kind of documentary hasn’t been effectively made already. Luckily, it gives us the chance to catch up.
“Is That Black Enough For You?”
Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
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