The bottom line is this: representation matters. It’s of the utmost importance to highlight films without white savior complexes, but one that makes the Black community or people of color the protagonists to encompass the real-life culture, obstacles and beauty of each demographic. Films should portray more than tragedy by being able to transcend warmth and familiarity onto the big screen.
Soul Elating, Thrilling & Heart-wrenching Must See’s
- Pose on Netflix
It’s safe to say that Pose is an absolute game-changer. While taking on the 1980s LGBTQ+ community, laser focusing on the Black and Latino queer/transgender individuals of New York City, the series creates an electric performance with its portrayals of ballroom culture. From its depictions of vogueing, the talent that went into creating ballroom outfits and the overall spunk, beauty and love shared throughout the series, it’s incredibly hard not to fall in love with the history.
Pose is based on real-life inspirations that unfortunately do not come without their share of sadness, tragedy and boiling anger. The series shows its viewers the harsh realities that the LGBTQ+ community faced in 1980s NYC, not sugarcoating death, the AIDS epidemic, racism and discrimination amongst many more internal and external conflicts. It is guaranteed that Pose will alter your view on all aspects represented, along with stirring up all of your feels.
Despite its fiery aura, Pose touches all hearts, has left its mark on the LGBTQ+ community.
Without a doubt, Pose crushed some film norms that led to gratitude and emotional understanding. Yasmine Valdes, a junior Florida International University student, expressed that Pose was a “completely revolutionary show to air, especially for our generation.” Valdes also claimed that Pose managed to make her feel all sorts of emotions: happy, sad and even proud. She stated, “I was proud to be part of a fantastic, resilient community, hurt by so many challenges and injustices, yet somehow persevered.”
The show distinguishes itself by its truth in giving a voice to LGBTQ+ double minorities and showing how difficult it is to bask in the characters’ truths within society, especially in the show’s setting. However, Pose earns its flowers by not only depicting the adversity faced by the queer/transgender Black and Latino community but the joy, love, acceptance and togetherness.
- Lovecraft Country on HBO Max
Lovecraft Country has to be one of the best thrillers out with a Black cast in its protagonist core. Its Black leading cast is one of the most striking aspects of the series and has garnered an even bigger fan fever.
The series held a trending joke on Twitter claiming it was indescribable. The complexity of the series is due to its exhilarating mix of history, thriller, gore, sci-fi and drama. Lovecraft Country the series draws on from Lovecraft Country the book, creating its central theme on cosmic horror.
Nonetheless, don’t be fooled with the insane visuals of Lovecraft Country. The series undertakes major central themes, such as racism through its setting of the 1920s and 1950s Jim Crow America. We see examples of the Tulsa Race Massacre and references to Emmett Till. Even though magic is a staple in the series, it’s combined with the importance behind ancestral connection and family guidance amongst Black families. Most importantly, the show altogether focuses on the reclamation of power for Black people, focusing on not only physical strength but the emotional strength each person holds within the Black community fueled by generational trauma, racism, discrimination, misogyny, family love and bravery.
Sasha Delgado, a sophomore Miami Dade College student, claimed that Lovecraft Country’s charm stems from each episode’s ability to jam-pack so much thrill and drama, unlike any other show she’s ever seen. She stated, “Lovecraft is one of the firsts to portray such a creative concept, narrative spinoff and also promote Black history.” It is indisputable that Lovecraft Country’s chaotic storyline and its development throughout the series is what holds people, hostage, to their screens. Its magical fiction intertwined with reality, adversity and history are what differentiates Lovecraft Country from anything mainstream. Its overwhelmingness is addicting, to say the least.
- “Malcolm and Marie” on Netflix
“Malcolm and Marie” has been much anticipated due to the internet’s sweetheart Zendaya’s lead role along with co-star John David Washington. The massive hype is centered on not only the portrayal of the struggles behind closed doors of a relationship but the fact it’s a Black couple on-screen displaying naturality. The black and white film is engulfed with the tremors, tension, arguments and soft moments of a relationship.
It’s impossible to escape the idea of toxic, abusive relationships and mental health while watching “Malcolm and Marie.” For many, the movie is extremely triggering yet enlightening for their own lives. The depiction of Malcolm and Marie’s relationship sets the audience up not only for observation but reflection. Kailee Guzman, a Miami photographer, described “Malcolm and Marie” to be impactful and important. She shared, “It captures how abusive partners can be through manipulation, how the victim may try to stand up for themselves yet be misunderstood and overall exposes everyday aspects of couples struggles.”
On the contrary, some may state a film like “Malcolm and Marie” is not as important to the industry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an eye-opener. Jada Forbes, a junior Florida International University student, mentions how she has mixed feelings on its importance. However, she explained that “it’s a film that depicts a different type of love story — one with resentment in the middle of it. They’re angry at each other, sometimes within reason. The constant arguing is a headache inducer for sure. For me, this movie made me realize how much I don’t want to live through something like that. One second, everything is calm. The next, chaotic. It’s undesirable, at best.”
Overall, this mix of television series and movies are packed with talented Black and Latino actors that portray soul elating, thrilling and heart-wrenching must-sees that will not leave you disappointed. They all deserve a larger spotlight not only for their performances and amazing cinematography, but for their empowering messages, overall awareness of sexuality, race, and abuse, as well as their kindhearted moments of spreading positivity, love, acceptance and empowerment.