Last year as part of our Black History Month celebrations, we hosted a series of movie nights at Eva’s Place. These successful events brought many young people together to watch and discuss the best of contemporary Black cinema. This year, we expanded on the concept, with each film including a pre- and post-discussion that framed the viewing experience in terms of a specific issue or concept related to Black experiences.

As young people at Eva’s Place do this, we invite you to explore with us! Bryn, Recreation Coordinator who organized the events, told us what films the young people would be watching and why…

Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele

“We will discuss the concept of stereotypes in our pre-discussion. The film uses the horror genre to explore how stereotypes, even those which may be considered so-called “positive” stereotypes, are used to negate the humanity of individuals within a marginalized group. While this leads to heightened results in the film, ultimately it is not that far removed from the racist violence and systemic oppression that exists in our society today.”

Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins

“Moonlight is considered by many to be a contemporary masterpiece. Through this film we will consider the concept of intersectionality, ‘an analytic framework that attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized in society.’ Chiron, a young Black man, lives in poverty with a mother who struggles with substance dependency and a protector involved in the drug trade. Within this context, Chiron alternately discovers, explores and tries to hide his homosexuality. How do the multiple intersections of Chiron’s identity inform his character and his interactions with the world?”

Fruitvale Station, directed by Ryan Coogler

“Fruitvale recounts the final day of Oscar Grant’s life, an unarmed young Black man who was shot and killed by a police officer on the Bay Area Rapid Transit. The film focuses on a small and human story, but has much larger implications in a world where young Black men die at the hands of law enforcement far too often. Along with this film, we will discuss institutionalized racism and its impacts.”

Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler

“A landmark Marvel movie, this film is among the highest-grossing movies of all time and recently made history by taking home the top prize at the SAG Awards. A huge step forward in mainstream representation, Black Panther is steeped in the themes and imagery of Afrofuturism. As an artistic movement and philosophical approach to history and science, Afrofuturism reclaims the diverse histories of the African diaspora to create new images, ideas and conversations about the present and future of black culture. A true celebration of culture, reclamation and liberation, Black Panther and the discussion of Afrofuturism is the perfect place to end our film series.”

Explore with us.

What films have you watched that helped you explore a specific issue or concept related to Black experiences? Tell us on social media.