Black Struggle Film Production: Meta-Synthesis of Black Struggle Film Production and Critique Since the Millennium

Download (PDF, 1.25MB)

Author: Robert Cummings, Morehouse College, USA
Email: robert.cummings@morehouse.edu
Published: August 01, 2019
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijmcf.6.1.04

Citation: Cummins, R. (2019). Black Struggle Film Production: Meta-Synthesis of Black Struggle Film Production and Critique Since the Millennium. IAFOR Journal of Media, Communication & Film, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijmcf.6.1.04


Abstract

The film industry has historically wrestled with consistently producing representative and innovative Black American wide release feature length theatrical films. The limited quantity of films containing a majority Black cast and films with a Black protagonist allows for exploration of the similarities between such films. “Black struggle films,” films focusing on historic or overt racial, ethnic, or social challenges, appear to be one of the few sorts of films cast, led, and produced by Black American creatives. In addition, Black struggle films appear to be more critically acclaimed and recognized than any other sort of Black film. This investigation is part of a case study on the attributes and successes of Black struggle film production. This article focuses on budget, distribution, and other production variables of Black American films released in the last 20 years. Additionally, a meta-synthesis was performed comparing film critiques of one wide-released, theatrical Black struggle film with other Black films. Film critiques were analyzed using a thematic analytical method to identify themes about their production patterns. The findings of this study will allow media researchers to identify trends in Black American film production and influence producers to engage in strategic and representative production of films that document Black experiences.

Keywords

Black struggle film, African American, American film history, White guilt, White savior film, Oscar bait