Simon Frederick guides viewers through conversations with contributors as film veterans Harry Belafonte, Earl Cameron and Diahann Carroll discuss what it was like to be pioneers in a white movie world.
Chapter 1: Legends and Pioneers
Opens at the Oscars with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde themselves) announcing that Damien Chazelle’s beloved musical La La Land had won. However, in perhaps one of the most bizarre and embarrassing moments in the ceremony’s 89-year history, amid an onstage melee and calls that there had been a mistake, just like that, Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast to win Best Picture – a win that is nothing short of historic.
Chapter 2: Black Film Is Not a Genre
Focuses on how a new generation of black film-makers emerged in the 1990s, following the success of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, as well as the development of a new genre, the Hood movie, exploring contemporary black working-class life. The programme also explores how movie stars like Eddie Murphy, Will Smith and Denzel Washington became marquee names, even as black stories were increasingly told by white film-makers. Featuring contributions from David Oyelowo, Laurence Fishburne and John Boyega.
Chapter 3: Black Is the New Hollywood
A look ahead to the future facing black film-makers, examining how the impact of high-profile success stories like Black Panther and the Oscar-winning Moonlight and Get Out may bring an end to the belief that black directors and actors are not seen as bankable. The programme also examines a new generation of British talent, including director Steve McQueen and actors David Oyelowo and John Boyega.