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USA 2001
Directed by
Spike Lee
135 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars


Spike Lee's most acerbic, bravely independent film since Do The Right Thing did not receive cinema release in Australia to my knowledge. Taking the core idea of The Producers and giving it a strongly polemical twist Lee has an Ivy League yuppie black television writer, Pierre Delacroix(Damon Wayans) working for a small television network who is assigned to develop a new show for the African-American demographic.  Hating the gig and inb particular the overbearing  executive in charge of programming (Michael Rapaport) Delacroix devises an abysmal black minstrel show thinking that he will be dismissed, However not only is a pilot greenlit, it turns into an enormous hit with disastrous consequences for all concerned.  

Shot using miniDV with super 16mm film for the minstrel sequences, options taken for financial reasons, the result which look more like a documentary or home movie despite Lee's trademark fluidity is hardly a crowd-pleaser but the content is also highly politicized and intentionally confrontational and that makes it a film well worth watching.




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