One of the year’s most impressive directorial debuts is available for home viewing today. Justin Simien makes the leap from shorts to features with one of the smartest films of the year. Dear White People tackles racial issues with confidence and a mix of sarcasm, outrage, hilarity and disgust. Simien never abandons comedy for preaching, but there is not an issue he isn’t willing to spotlight, however uncomfortable. It’s an insightful, biting comedy too few people saw this year. Witty, incisive and one step ahead of you, this excellent indie comedy needs to make everyone’s home entertainment watch list.
There hasn’t been as funny, insightful and thoughtful a look at perceptions of race since Spike Lee’s groundbreaking 1989 Do the Right Thing. As Mookie makes his pizza deliveries on the hottest day of the summer, his alter-ego Lee unveils racism and other ugliness that bubbles up on days like this. It’s worth a revisit.