The Sundance hit explores racial identity in post-racial America, taking a jab at 'The Help' and 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' among others.
The first teaser trailer of "Dear White People" was released during its Wednesday, June 18 premiere at Los Angeles Film festival. The comedy-drama had already made headlines after its Sundance debut, nabbing the coveted Special Jury Award.
Directed by Justin Simien, "Dear White People" took a jab at recent African-American-themed Oscar pics such as "The Help", "The Blind Side", and "Lee Daniels' The Butler". Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an "African American"-themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in post-racial America while weaving a story about forging one's unique path in the world.
"How come the only black movies Hollywood wants to make are about black mammies in fat suits?" one of the students said. Another chimed in, "Or Black women in pain, man?!" And another added, "So basically we got black people dyin' in the past, and black people dyin' in the present!"
After the screening at L.A. Live's Regal, Simien had a Q&A together with the film's cast members. He insisted that the racial themes were not what the film was trying to relay. "The conflict of who you are and who you show to the world - that's a universal situation," he said.
"Dear White People" hits limited theaters in the U.S. October 17.