It’s fairly hard to believe that Dear White People is the directorial debut for Justin Simeon, for it warrants the merit of a far more seasoned director. I was pleasantly surprised at how amazingly satirical and hilarious this film was. Just like Damien Chazelle did with Whiplash and Ryan Coogler with Fruitvale Station, Justin Simeon proves that a directorial debut means but one thing, the world has only yet to see your greatness. Told mostly from the point of view of modern revolutionary Samantha White, Dear White people is full of humor, satire, and features a very intrusive look into racism in America. The story follows the race relations at the fictional Winchester University and how they affect the entire student body, mainly it’s black population. The topics brought up are ones that we see in everyday life, along with the thought-provoking ideologies and characters. These characters successfully represent the the diversification of the black race: the revolutionaries, the repressed homosexuals, the oreos and so on.
The film touches on many social problems that we have in our society: race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, acceptance and privilege. I was so blown away about how blunt Simeon chose to be. Some of the dialogue and symbolism makes you cringe; however, you’re only cringing because you know that this is how society really is. So many times, I found myself needing to pause the movie, because there is a character that I, unfortunately, identify with. It really makes you hold up a mirror to society and also yourself. I had to ask myself, am I part of the problem? And, honestly the answer is yes. From start to finish, the film explores racial identity in this so called “post-racial” America and it is a film about finding your path and refusing to be deterred. I absolutely loved every second of the film. For some, you may think that Simeon goes too far with his depiction of our culture; however I disagree. Dear White People is a letter to society that we need to change. It shows the ugly truth that we, as a society, are shallow and cruel by nature. If someone doesn’t look like us, talk like us, dress like us, think like us, then their different and we don’t accept them. This film is so powerful and deep that I will not stop spreading the word about it. It easily made it’s way into my list of favorite films of all time.