Blacktrospective 2011 by Kam Williams
Kam's Annual Assessment of the Best in Black Cinema
2011 proved to be another banner year in black cinema, with The Help
emerging as the cream of the crop. Even though the adaptation of the Kathryn
Stockett best-seller had detractors like Professor Melissa Harris-Perry
questioning the historical accuracy of its depiction of African-American
maids, there’s no denying that Viola Davis delivered an Oscar-worthy
performance as the movie’s lead character, Aibileen Clark. In terms of male
leads, Vin Diesel was the best of the bunch, I just hope the
ethnically-ambiguous matinee idol doesn’t mind being branded a brother.
A number of excellent films were shot in Africa, most notably Kinyarwanda and Life, Above All. Then there’s Pariah, a gritty, New York City, dysfunctional family drama ostensibly inspired by the success of Precious in 2009, and featuring a comedienne (Kim Wayans) playing it very serious as an abusive mother.
As far as documentaries, Dear Daddy by perennial fave Janks Morton gets the nod. I wonder when other filmmakers will figure out how to capture sisters so beautifully on camera and in such an emotionally-searing fashion.
Best Black Documentaries
Best African Films
Best Actor (Lead Role)
Best Actor (Supporting Role)
Best Actress (Supporting Role)
Best Director (Feature Film)
Best Director (Documentary)
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