8 Black Documentary Films Everyone Should Watch

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“Good Hair”


“Good Hair” is a 2009 American comedic documentary film produced by Chris Rock Productions and HBO Films, starring and narrated by comedian Chris Rock. The film focuses on the issue of how African-American women have perceived their hair and historically styled it. The film explores the styling industry for black women, images of what is considered acceptable and desirable for African-American women’s hair in the United States, and their relation to African-American culture. According to Rock, he was inspired to make the movie after his then 3-year-old daughter Lola asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” She has curly, wiry hair typical of many people of African descent. He realized she had already absorbed the perception among some blacks that curly hair was not “good”.

“Life and Debt”


“Life and Debt” addresses the impact of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and current globalization policies on a developing country such as Jamaica. The film is a woven tapestry of sequences focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans whose strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas. By combining traditional documentary telling with a stylized narrative framework, the complexity of international lending, structural adjustment policies and free trade will be understood in the context of the day-to-day realities of the people whose lives they impact.

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