If you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may not have heard about the Black Film Canon a compilation of essential films from black directors compiled by the folks at Slate. There are some real gems on this list as well as a handful of films I haven’t seen. The earliest film is from 1921 and the latest is from 2016 so there is a lot to explore.
For this Friday’s Netflix Festival, here are a few canonical films that are streaming on Netflix right now.
Medicine for Melancholy (2008)
This film from Barry Jenkins chronicles the intersection of two black indie people in a gentrifying San Francisco.
A tough and touching coming-of-age story about a teenage lesbian and her first sexual experiences. Directed by Dee Rees and beautifully photographer by Bradford Young, this film stars Adepero Oduye in fine form.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Ryan Coogler’s first feature chronicles the last day in the life of Oscar Grant who was killed by police. Michael B. Jordan turns in a star-making performance.
Ashes & Embers (1982)
A little know (until now) film about a black man returning from Vietnam. I haven’t seen it yet, and didn’t know it existed until the Black Film Canon was released, so I’m looking forward to catching up with it this weekend.