Dear White People, a film that started with a self-funded concept trailer for an immensely successful crowd-funding project, is getting a lot of talk these days.
The film is a work by a new and impressive director, Justin Simien. It follows characters on the fictional college campus of Winchester University as they interact in different racially charged situations.
Dear White People centers around the character Samantha (Sam) White, played by Tessa Thompson, a provocative radio DJ who hosts a show called Dear White People.
The radio show addresses differences in white and black people and showcases how the two races interact. The pointers that are given by Sam White on her show, Dear White People, range from humorous (like you have to have two black friends to not seem like a racist now) to deep and heartfelt (like stop touching her hair, it’s inappropriate).
According to the director of Dear White People, the film isn’t just a shallow compare-and-contrast about the differences in the stereotypical black person and the stereotypical white person.
He challenges us to each examine the role we play for others and who we really are inside, and to rethink trying to fit into a pre-made race mold.
“I know that people are going to talk about the issues in the film,” said Justin Simien, referring to race, sexuality and gender. “But, ultimately I want people to walk away thinking about their own identities and the way in which they created the character that they play and the way that character holds them back and pushes them forward. Truly, that’s what the movie is about to me.”
He added, “That to me was the whole point, for people to see themselves. Maybe be a little uncomfortable with what they see and go out into the world maybe rethinking themselves.”
Sounds like such a great concept. What do you think about the premise behind Dear White People?