For the white people who only know prolific character actor Dennis Haysbert (who also shined in a number of leading roles) from those Allstate commercials, the Dear White People trailer is for you. He stars in Justin Simien’s buzz-worthy film that has been compared to the likes of Spike Lee’s School Daze. Simien won the Sundance prize for U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent for his snarky satire, which now has a full-length trailer.
The story follows four black students at an Ivy League college (Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Brandon P. Bell, and Teyonah Parris) where a riot breaks out over “a popular African-American-themed party thrown by white students.” The movie sets out to explore “racial identity in postracial America.” The trailer offers a refreshing perspective with lots of humor and wit, allowing African-American characters to have center stage (and broach some serious and sensitive topics) without all the bulls**t of a Tyler Perry movie. Although, Simien has stated he has no beef with Perry or his movies:
"I don’t have a personal issue with Tyler Perry," Simien says. He believes that Perry’s success means success for all. Instead, he says, "My issue is with an industry that tells us what we can and can’t be." Despite the success of Lee Daniels’ The Butler, 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station, Hollywood continues to pump out the same cultural cues about people of color.
So much truth. Dear White People hits theaters on October 17.
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