Bamboozled is a 2000 blistering satirical comedy-drama film highlighting television’s pitfalls and prejudices. Pierre Delacroix, a young, Harvard-educated man, is the sole person of color, writing for an upstart network with floundering ratings. Despite several attempts, Delacroix has yet to see any of his concepts go into production. He gets the bright idea, partially in an attempt to get fired, to modernize a minstrel show… and it takes.
Written and directed by Spike Lee the movie merges America’s shameful, racist past of minstrel shows (with white and black actors donning blackface to exaggerate and perpetuate the racist stereotypes of the day), to current day “minstrel shows,” that exaggerate the black stereotypes of our time, without the actors in blackface. Not to mention present-day public personalities getting in trouble for wearing, or speaking lightly of, blackface. Lee seems to assert that the present day “minstrel shows” are simply minstrel shows by another name. The movie features an ensemble cast including Damon Wayans, Jada Pinkett Smith, Savion Glover, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, and Mos Def. Sharp, edgy and full of strong language and imagery, Bamboozled makes you think… how much has actually changed since the days of the minstrel show?
Join us on Saturday, February 23 at 3 PM at the New Parkway Theater for a Black History Month screening of Bamboozled and stay after the movie for a post-movie discussion, hosted by KPFA’s Greg Bridges, on the mezzanine.