The film takes its title from a campus radio show run by Sam (Tessa Thompson), a student at fictional Ivy League college Winchester University. She uses the station to comment on the racial faux pas that white members of the college make when dealing with their black peers. The main narrative thrust comes after a number of white students black up at a Halloween party, precipitating a debate within the college about its tolerance of minorities. It's easy to see how a film like this touches on a number of sensitive public nerves, but its approach to the issues it raises is never tentative: the dialogue is sharp, unabashed and direct, and the film uses broad comedy to deliver some distinct blows to what it sees as the faults in US society.
The cast is made up largely of newcomers and this is partly what makes the film so exciting. But it will be interesting to see if a film whose cast is made up of relative unknowns and whose plot concerns issues pertaining to US society will gain as much traction in the UK as it has done stateside. Perhaps the British will relish the film as an opportunity to gain insight into the US' fraught racial politics, or perhaps they'll identify more direct self-relevance. Broadly speaking, however, it's rare for a film to be tackling racial issues so directly, and it might well have the effect of inspiring more overtly political cinema over the next few years.
|What||Dear White People|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
10 Jul 15 – 30 Sep 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here for more information|