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Past Films

Dear White People

  • Director: Justin Simien
  • Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 100 min.

At prestigious Winchester University, biracial student Samantha White begins her radio show, “Dear White People, the amount of black friends required not to seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, your weed man, Tyrone, doesn’t count.” Sam becomes president of the all-black residential hall Parker/Armstrong, whose existence is facing extinction in the name of diversification. TV reality show “Black Face/White Place” smells gold in Sam’s story and decides to follow it, rejecting the proposal of fellow black student Coco Conners, who pitched her show “Doing Time at an Ivy League”. The clamor over Sam’s rise also becomes a career-defining opportunity for black misfit Lionel Higgins when he is asked to join the school’s lily-white newspaper staff to cover the controversy, even though he secretly knows little about black culture.

"It’s an American film that talks about race with strong feeling, common sense and good humor; it’s an indie screenwriting-directing debut as polished as it is provocative; it’s a satire that also lets its characters be people; it’s a showcase of clever craft and direction as well as whip-smart comedic writing brought to life by a dedicated, charismatic cast that also conveys real ideas and emotion."
- James Rocchi, The Playlist
"Like the movie itself, every character is a beautiful swirl of contradictions."
- R. Kurt Osenlund, Slant Magazine
"The small miracle of the movie is that Simien finds so many laughs in what are genuinely bewildering issues."
- Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice
"Comparisons to Spike Lee’s movies are unavoidable, particularly with a setting that recalls Lee’s “School Daze” and a conclusion that echoes “Do the Right Thing.” But Dear White People is a film of the moment, and an essential one at that."
- Jordan Hoffman, New York Daily News