The Vanishing Black Male
Film Reviewed by Kam Williams
Documentary Explores Issue of Disappearing African-American Men
Studio: Seven Generations Productions
search words: black, documentary, social issues
runtime: 76 minutes
country: United States
attributes: color, full frame
rating: Not Rated
Film Review by Kam Williams
Excellent (4 )
Because the ratio of black females to black males has been steadily increasing in African-American communities all across the country, many folks have begun to wonder, ’Where have all the brothers gone?’ This thought also occurred to director Hisani DuBose who decided to pose the same question to a variety of experts and ordinary people from all walks of life to see whether they’ve noticed the trend towards extinction and what they make of it.
The upshot of DuBose’s efforts is The Vanishing Black Male, a thought-provoking documentary essentially comprised of a series of informative interviews on the subject. What makes this movie so valuable is that each contributor brings a different set of life experiences to the table, and addresses the issue in a heartfelt manner from his or her own particular perspective.
cast and crew:
Refreshingly honest in tone, don't expect any candy-coated aphorisms or simplistic solutions here. Among the picture’s memorable contributors are politicians, a shrink, a social worker, a pastor, firefighters, educators and students, and more. The diverse panel’s standouts include Sgt. Delacy D. Davis of the Black Police Officers Against Brutality and Dr. Duane Dyson, M.D., Executive Director of The Violence Prevention Institute.
Davis speaks eloquently about the negative effects of advertising, the breakdown of the black family and about his organization’s effort to support single-moms and their kids in an effective manner. Dyson, meanwhile, stresses the importance of elementary school education while indicting the suicidal nature of the ghetto gangsta’ mentality. For, as an emergency room physician in an inner-city hospital, he has witnessed, first-hand, gunshot victims on a daily basis. And he soberly informs us that all of the wounded and dying young males arrive stripped of their macho veneers by the time they end up on his operating table.
Overall, along the way, we learn that guns, the street, failing schools, drugs, the criminal justice system, absentee fathers, suicide, unemployment and a host of other factors are all contributing to the phenomenon of black male extinction. And while the daunting dilemma does appear to be overwhelming, the concern exhibited in the conversations do provide considerable reason for hope. For it is inspiring to hear the sage reflections of so many who share a dedication and determination to alleviating the same pressing problem.
Designed with every demographic in mind, The Vanishing Black Male is a remarkable movie not to be missed by young or old, by male or female, by black or white or anyone with an interest in a frank discussion of the future of African-American men. This critic’s pick for the Best Documentary of 2005.
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