Boycott (2001)

TV Movie   |  PG   |    |  Drama


Boycott (2001) Poster

Black Americans boycott the public buses during the 1950s civil rights movement.

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7.3/10
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  • Jeffrey Wright in Boycott (2001)
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19 March 2001 | Griot
10
| cinema as jazz-the bar for Black film has been elevated
This film is astonishingly good. I admit I am a Black film student but lovers of great cinema everywhere will exhilarated by "Boycott".

The story of the Montgomery bus Boycott and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. have been both reclaimed and expanded in a cinematic tour-de-force.

You have never seen a King like Jeffrey Wright's. The first time you see him he is about to dance with his beautiful wife. From his sensuality to his preaching style, his walk to his style of dress I cannot remember a cinematic Martin Luther King that was so authentically African-American.

The film uses different film textures like jazz musicians play their instrument. Moving from black and white documentary footage to black and white digital video, 35mm color to color super eight, each film stock has a different quality used to contextualize the films dramatic impact.

For instance, early in the film an elderly Black man is shot waiting for the bus in glorious technicolor(common to the fifties). He directly addresses the camera discussing the fact that the boycott is on. The bus pulls up obscuring our view of him and when it pulls away it takes the color with it. The old man continues to stand at the bus stop-now in black and white.

The film makes superb use of this technique throughout.

It also pays attention to the oral tradition in the African-American community by depicting various preaching styles and the film is infused with great Black music utilized in ways that are as inventive as the use of film stock.

Don't take my word for it though. I will watch almost any film for fifteen minutes. See if you can stop after watching the first fifteen minutes of "Boycott".

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