Ava DuVernay @TIFF: “We are in the midst of history”

“These are strange and important times,” she said this month at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). “Because truly, you can feel in the very vibration of the day, one day after the next, that we are in the midst of history. That 2020 will be long remembered. That we will be talking about this year and this time and remembering how we felt and what we thought and where we were and who we were engaged with for the rest of our lives. Continue reading Ava DuVernay @TIFF: “We are in the midst of history”

Editorial: White People, You Gotta Stop Watching “The Help”

Given that the systematic racism perpetuated against Black people is now in the forefront of the news, white people are trying to understand the insidiousness of racism in white society. It is not just the United States that is racist, though we elected a man who is blatant racist. The racism in the United Kingdom and Australia is also being noticed. But, given that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others were killed in the U.S., we are currently under a microscope. Continue reading Editorial: White People, You Gotta Stop Watching “The Help”

Should’ve Been a Contender: Ava DuVernay For “Selma”

Every year, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) holds an annual award show honouring the best and boldest in filmmaking. And every year, there is an extensive discourse on who was snubbed or overlooked or incorrectly nominated. I have those opinions each awards season but there is one snub that still gets me: Ava DuVernay.

When her film “Selma” premiered in 2014, it was staggering to see the level of detail put into every aspect of that film. The history, the acting, the cinematography, the set design, and so on. But the direction and momentum of the film rested solely with DuVernay. Continue reading Should’ve Been a Contender: Ava DuVernay For “Selma”

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 9: Selma

Director Ava DuVernay has, over this last decade, established herself as one of the most important filmmakers in the business, thanks to her incomparable body of work across mediums: from her shocking and vital documentary “13th” on the perpetuation of slavery in the US to the powerful, sensitively constructed series “When They See Us” about the wrongly convicted suspects in the 1989 Central Park Jogger case. 

Of all of her work over the last ten years, “Selma” is DuVernay’s very best. The film describes the events leading up to and including the 1965 marches from Selma, Alabama to the state’s capital, Montgomery, conducted by Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) and others, as part of a movement to give African American citizens the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.  Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 9: Selma