Trending Topics

‘Beyond the Lights’ Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Obliterate the Term ‘Black Film’

Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood

While no stranger to Black love films, filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood told NPR that it is one of her goals to obliterate the term “Black film.”

The creative mind behind the classic Love and Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and now the new movie Beyond the Lights, Prince-Bythewood loves to tell stories about love.

“There’s a perception in the world that Black people don’t love each other, that they don’t get married,” she said. “And it’s because we don’t see it, there are never any images of that in TV and film. I mean, we have the President and First Lady, thank goodness, but that’s it. Without those images young Black people have nothing to aspire to and the world continues to perpetuate this myth about the lack of Black love. It’s important for me to make us visible in universal stories.”

Her newest film Beyond the Lights tells the story of a famous singer who is being controlled by her career and a policeman who is being pushed by his father to go into politics. The story focuses on their journey of self-discovery and finding themselves in each other.

“It’s about empathy,” the filmmaker said. “The fact that you can see my films and empathize with these lead characters no matter their color, because they are going through the same things everybody else does. The more we can do that in film and television, I really think it can improve the world. That’s my drive.”

Through her plight to bring people from every background together over story lines of love, Prince-Bythewood has come to dislike the term “Black film,” finding it narrow and forced.

“That’s like saying Think Like A Man is the same as 12 Years a Slave, they’re not,” she said. “One is a period piece and one is a comedy. This is a love story.¬†That term allows studios to marginalize a movie and say ‘we’ve made our Black film.’ I just feel like people of color should be in every genre. So that is really my push.”

What people are saying

3 thoughts on “‘Beyond the Lights’ Filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Obliterate the Term ‘Black Film’

  1. Bwire Vincent says:

    The sad fact is that Blacks, themselves, tend to accept all the crap that the racist piles on them – which is tantamount to excusing the beast, for his evil deeds.

  2. Artis Insertcrapnamehere Jones says:

    I think folks are trying to hard to eradicate themselves form their own work in order to feel like they are not leaving anyone out and show the world we are universally accepting of others……. This is not a good thing nor does it help anyone, When Melvin Van Peebles set out to make a film he wanted something that showed the beauty of our community as well as make so people of color can get some real world experience minus going to a school that is predatory. Enter Sweet Sweetback Bad ass Song, an artsy film that gave said beauty as well as showed us that we have to have a collective consciousness to get the mans foot out yo ass. A Black Film renaissance was born, independent of Hollywood and their shenanigans. We don't need to erradicate anything and focus on acutally making our stories for us by us, and make a further point to follow van peebles, davis, perrry, poiter, singleton, and many others….

    We need to recognize ourselves and stop catering to others who will only cast us as theives druggies hoes male female, lascivious, vile villianous beings and such.

  3. Aje'ne Babb says:

    Previews for the movie looking good, can't wait to check it out.

Leave a Reply

Back to top