As one of many films that focus on race relations in America, "Dear White People" lights the dimming candle with a blow torch. Writer and director Justin Simien opens his lens not only to stereotypes of the African American race but how those stereotypes fuel misunderstanding and encourage ignorance in our generation , " the age of Obama".
Simien focuses on bringing more than stereotypical attributes to film. In an interview with Variety Magazine after making their 10 directors to watch list, Simien states his feelings about black roles in film:
“Films with predominantly white casts can come in any form, tell any story, big or small. For black films, you have the light fluffy rom-coms or Madea movies and then you have the black torture awards movie. I love ‘12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Fruitvale (Station),’ but I’m annoyed that the only versions of a black film that’s artful have to be these gut-wrenching, historical stories about us suffering, or stories about inner-city kids with horrible problems like gun violence. They’re all morality plays, and what’s gotten lost is a story that is complex, that asks questions like a ‘Do the Right Thing.”
Dear White People dictates what it means to be "black" and what role race relations play in our systematic society. The witty and provocative satire is the 2014 winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent and is set to hit theaters October 17th .