M8 – When Death Helps Life arrived at the catalog at the end of last month and received a good reception from critics and streaming service subscribers. The film is directed by Jeferson De (Bróder) and discusses racism and social conflict in the city of Rio de Janeiro, a theme that cinema knows very well.
Below we present 10 other contemporary films that are similar to M8, for those who want to know more works that discuss racism.
A Night in Miami… (2020)
Directed by Regina King, One Night in Miami … chronicles the fictional encounter between Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) in 1964. During the conversation, they discuss their careers, racism in United States and how they can (and should) help or inspire blacks during a critical period of the Civil Rights Movement. The film also makes a historical reconstruction of what life was like in the 1960s, in addition to addressing the obstacles faced by these men because of their race and beliefs.
I’m Not Your Negro (2016)
With narration by Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Raoul Peck, the documentary I’m not your Negro is based on the manuscript Remember This House by James Baldwin. In addition to presenting various aspects of Baldwin’s life and his fight against racism in the United States, he also addresses race relations in the country, discussing murdered civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers.
For horror fans, Run! it is an excellent example of how to approach racism, taking advantage of the elements of gender. Director Jordan Peele showed how to do this, and at the same time, built one of the great horror films of recent years. In the plot, a young black man visits the home of his girlfriend’s parents and discovers that the color of his skin can even cost his life.
Infiltrated in the Klan (2018)
If Jordan Peele debates racism with terror, Spike Lee has become a master at doing it with humor. In Infiltrated in the Klan it tells the real story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a black policeman who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. The film is able to teach about an important moment in Black History, link it to current issues in the United States and still find irony in the stupidity of racism.
Moonlight: Under the Moonlight (2016)
The first film in history with a main cast composed mostly of blacks to win the Oscar for Best Film, Moonlight accompanies three moments in the life of Chiron, a black homosexual. Starting with childhood, living with a mother addicted to drugs, going through adolescence and difficulties at school and reaching adulthood and showing the peculiarities and difficulties of the life of a black man in the USA.
My Name is Dolemite (2019)
Eddie Murphy is the protagonist of this biopic that tells the story of comedian Rudy Ray Moore. Very famous in the 1970s, the feature shows the importance of blaxploitation cinema, both for the actors and for the black community in the USA. The Netflix film talks about the impact that the Hollywood industry suffered from the movement, and in particular, with the production of the feature film. Dolemite, 1975.
If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Again an adaptation by James Baldwin – this time from the eponymous book -, If Beale Street Could Talk tells the story of Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James), a couple from Harlem whose future is destroyed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he never committed. Directed by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight ), the film follows Fonny’s trial in the criminal justice system, while addressing the reality of people who are arrested for being born black.
The 13th Amendment (2016)
The 13th Amendment is a Netflix documentary, directed by Ava DuVernay, that brings a vision of how the racial issue and the justice system interact with the problem of mass incarceration in the United States. So it can be seen as a complement to the If Beale Street Could Talk. By comparing the penitentiary system to slavery, DuVernay’s film pokes an old wound from the United States and sheds light on the for-profit systems that have deeply corrupted prisons in the country.
Blind Spot (2018)
Accompanying a black man in his last days of probation, the film is a good example of how to approach racism mixing drama and comedy, but always respecting the theme. Unable to commit any type of crime, as he runs the risk of going back to jail, Collin (Daveed Diggs) finds himself constantly threatened with unfair incrimination just for being black.
The Hate You Sow (2018)
Based on the eponymous novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate You Sow it is directly related to the recent events that triggered the demonstrations in the USA, while the film emphasizes how the issues of racism and police brutality are not simply adult problems. The film tells the story of a black girl from the periphery, studying at a private and predominantly white school, a direct parallel with M8.