Reflections on Cinematic Resistance: Where Do We Draw The Line?

‪#‎NORape‬ Anyone who knows me knows that I am unequivocal in my belief in the power of cinema and critical need for Black people to cinematically tell our her/histories and contemporary realities. UNEQUIVOCAL. IN. MY. BELIEF.

Simultaneously, however, the FB posts and tweets by Black men and women about the importance of Nate Parker's (and Jean Celestin) cinematic resistance is painful.

I sincerely hope that folks ain't saying that supporting Nate Parker's film The Birth of a Nation is the *only* or a rare opportunity that we'll have to support cinematic resistance because it's ahistorical. There is a plethora of resistance films made by radical and revolutionary Black filmmakers that have barely seen the light of day.

If we want to talk about cinematic resistance, let's ALSO talk about organized resistance to see those powerful narrative films that NEVER received major distribution deals precisely because of their radical Black cinematic politics.

To be clear, Black directed films about Nat Turner, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, David Walker, Frederick Douglass and countless other enslaved Black people should be made.

I strive not to be a revisionist. I hold my Black lesbian self accountable for being willing to overlook Parker's blatant un-remorseful homophobia to plan to spend my money to see The Birth of A Nation. When my Sis Heidi Renée Lewis first text me on Sunday (August 14, 2016) about what went down at Penn State in 1999, I didn't want to deal with it for both personal reasons and also because of my (almost) desperately wanting to spend my money to see The Birth of A Nation on October 7, 2016.

If Nate Parker and Jean Celestin were accused of raping a Black or white man would we encourage folks to push forward and support this important film?

Why does financially supporting Black cinematic resistance come at the expense of homophobia, too many unanswered questions, and a suicide by the victim?

Is it because the victim was white (as if we have an excellent track record on supporting Black women who've been raped by Black men) that we should push forward and support this important film? Is it because Black LGBTQIASGL people are often expendable that we should push forward and support this important film?

When does enough become enough? Where do we draw the line?