So, I’m just going to start at my beginning – films about girls of color.
As I’ve searched several on-line “lists” of films, I find very few narrative films that include girls of color (17 and under) as the main or even secondary protagonists. I know there aren’t a lot out there. But I’m going to make my own list (in no particular order).
1. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) dir. Benh Zeitlin Beasts of the Southern Wild trailer
2. Bend it like Beckham (2002) dir. Gurinder Chadha Bend it Like Beckham trailer
3. Whale Rider (2002) dir. Niko Caro Whale Rider trailer
4. Love and Basketball (2000) dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood Love and Basketball trailer
5. Crooklyn (1994) dir. Spike Lee Crooklyn trailer
6. Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) dir. Phillip Noyce Rabbit-Proof Fence trailer
7. Quinceanera (2006) dir. Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland Quinceanera trailer
8. Precious (2009) dir. Lee Daniels Precious trailer
9. Pariah (2011) dir. Dee Rees Pariah trailer
10. Maya (2001) dir. Digvijay Singh Maya trailer
11. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) dir. Ken Kwapis Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants trailer
12. Real Women Have Curves (2002) dir. Patricia Cardoso Real Women Have Curves trailer
13. Our Song (2000) dir. Jim McKay Our Song trailer
14. Fame (1980) dir. Alan Parker Fame trailer
15. Flirting (1991) dir. John Duigan Flirting Trailer
16. Akeelah and the Bee (2006) dir. Doug Atchinson Akeelah and the Bee trailer
17. Eve’s Bayou (1997) dir. Kasi Lemmon Eve's Bayou trailer
18. The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (1995) dir. Maria Maggenti Two Girls in Love trailer
19. Mosquita Y Mari (2012) dir. Aurora Guerrero Mosquita y Mari trailer
20. Mi Vida Loca (1993) dir. Allison Anders Mi Vida Loca trailer
21. Daughters of the Dust (1991) dir. Julie Dash Daughters of the Dust trailer
22. Maria Full of Grace (2004) dir. Joshua Marston Maria Full of Grace trailer
23. Just Another Girl on the IRT (1992) dir. Leslie Harris Just Another Girl on the IRT trailer
24. The Man on the Shore (1993) dir. Raoul Peck (Sorry, I could not find a trailer...)
25. Water (2005) dir. Deepa Mehta Water trailer
26. Wadjda (2013) dir. Haifaa al-Mansour Wadjda trailer
27. Yelling to the Sky (2011) dir. Victoria Mahoney Yelling to the Sky trailer
What do I want to do with this list? I hope to add to it, surely I’ve missed some movies, surely there is more …
I’d like to see what is really available for girls of color to watch. And for boys of color. Most of the films on this list have very adult themes and language. What can little girls watch? Where can they see themselves as the protagonist, as the hero?
I’d like to see if any of this is even relevant anymore because so many young people get their media from the internet now –youtube or Netflix or Hulu. If five minute videos or 6 second vines are our future, does it mass media representation matte anymore?