As much as we enjoy poring over lists of the best films ever made, Aisha Harris and Dan Kois make a good point over at Slate: those lists are overwhelmingly white. And when film buffs follow those recommendations in search of the great art, they’ll watch predominantly white movies. We can lose sight of contributions to film from people of color this way.
So Harris and Kois assembled “filmmakers, critics, and scholars” the produce The Black Film Canon, a list of the fifty greatest films by black directors. Notably, this excludes a few prominent films about blackness, like Coming to America, but it reflects the talent of black filmmakers who are often overlooked in the grand assessment of film history. The list spans decades, genres, and countries, including notable African cinema. (Though we do like that Spike Lee warranted his own category.)
We embedded Slate‘s supercut of The Black Film Canon above. We have most of the movies on their list; a Pinterest board will be coming shortly, so stay tuned!