This course explores the artistry of Black filmmakers in undermining cultural stereotyping through depicting authentic characters and stories from cultures of the African Diaspora. Course participants will begin with films interrogating the experiences of slavery and colonialism then moving forward through history until arriving in contemporary times. The acclaimed filmmakers will be chosen primarily from this list: Ousmane Sembene (Senegal), Amma Asante (UK), Fernando Meirelles (Brazil), Steve McQueen (UK) Gavin Hood (South Africa), Haile Gerima (Ethiopia) and Americans Julie Dash, Ryan Coogler, Charles Barnett, Denzel Washington, Barry Jenkins, Gina Prince-Bythwaite and Marlon Riggs.
Reading and analyzing selected screenplays will allow students further insights into the process of realizing a film from the page. Films will include both documentaries and feature films. Assigned readings will provide a contextual background for each film on the viewing list.