‘Light Girls’ addresses internal conflict, colorism, not much privilege

Duke Media / OWN

Duke Media / OWN

Last night, Oprah’s OWN Network aired “Light Girls,” a sequel to the documentary “Dark Girls,” and I saw a lot of conflict on Twitter from black men and black women – both with light and dark skin.

I think this doc had more depth than “Dark Girls,” and maybe that was Bill Duke learning from the predecessor, but it still felt frustrating to see what seems like more effort into giving depth to this documentary over the prior one. Continue reading

Review: “Dark Girls” Documentary Explores Prejudice, Bias

Duke Media, Urban Winter Entertainment

Duke Media, Urban Winter Entertainment

In the 1940s, psychologists published studies in which black children were given a white doll and a black doll. They were asked which one was pretty and good. Each time they picked the white doll. When asked which one was ugly and bad, they picked the black doll. CNN conducted a similar study decades later, and the results were very much the same. In the black community, colorism is very much a part of our culture. Dark Girls explores this on a deeper level, not just within the black community, but outside of it. The TV premiere aired last night on OWN, giving this cultural and social issue a broad platform. Continue reading

For artsy types: the "Black Swan" review

The other day I went to go see Black Swan with my artsy friends. It’s not that I don’t like art, I do, but it’s not the first thing that draws me to see a movie. Just when I started to get tired of hearing my friends rave about how epic the film was going to be, I saw a TV spot that changed my perspective. Turns out, the arty film is actually a psychological thriller, a modern take on Swan Lake, in which Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis (the brunette chick from That 70’s Show, who, as it turns out, is a pretty good actress) star. The two are ballet dancers at a New York dance company, and Portman’s character, Nina, fits the White Swan perfectly, having innocence, but Kunis’ Lily has the darkness that better fits the Black Swan. The two establish a twisted friendship that plays out in a mind-boggling thriller, laced with graphic cinematography and, noticeably, a heavy emphasis on the contrast between light and dark.

If you’re watching this movie for plot, you won’t get much. Most of the entertainment comes from watching how director Darren Aronofsky tells the story rather than the story itself. It doesn’t do much for psychological games either (say, compared to Inception) – if you don’t know the story of Swan Lake before watching the movie, Nina let’s you know how the play (and the movie) goes midway through the film. But if you watch the movie to see how artfully the story is told, to see incredible cinematography work (*spoiler alert* I particularly loved this very brief shot), and to see how well-played, well-developed the characters, you’re in for a phenomenal two hours of film-watching. I’m not a major art/fashion connoisseur, but I enjoyed this film just as much as my arty friends.

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures