Dear White People (DVD)

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Dear White People (DVD)

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Review of "Dear White People (DVD)"

published 05/10/2017 | thedevilinme
Member since : 13/05/2008
Reviews : 2525
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About me :
Boys completely frozen out of Product of the Week competition then after 11 straight weeks of female cosmetic stuff
Pro Good writing
Cons Didnt push iit
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"Cutting comedy but lacking a sharp edge"

Dear White People (DVD)

Dear White People (DVD)

Star – Director Justin Simien
Genre – Comedy
Run Time – 108 minutes
Certificate – 18
Country – U.S.
Awards – 14 Wins & 25 Nominations
Amazon – £5.69 DVD £0.00 Blue Ray
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As the ‘Take a Knee and ‘Black Lives Matter’ movements gather strength in the United States to highlight and tackle things like police brutality and poverty, especially under the bigot Trump, intelligent black writers are starting to fight back on film and TV to have their say on the still racially divided America, director Justin Simien with the smart and cutting Dear White People on racial politics in college life in America today one of them.
Although segregation was outlawed in the 1960s in America it’s returning in schools and colleges as they select kids on grades not location and so under achieving schools in the inner cities end up very black and so as likely to fail the students as they did in the 1950s.

The question now is, with so many black people disproportionately dominating stuff like sports and music and doing well in the movies, the arts and at all levels in US society, and having the last US President no less, why do so many still fail? 1-in-3 black males in America will expect to go to prison at one point. 50% of those jailed for murder in America are now black. If you actually break down fatal police shootings in America to the ethnicity of the officer who pulled the trigger, the crime demographic of the area and the situation why the bullet left the gun its rare that white cops actually shoot innocent black people but its just that we have to hear about those cases. In many studies it’s revealed that white officers are now ‘less’ likely to use lethal force than black officers to shoot at black suspects in fear of losing their jobs. With all this going on, white Americans have to be sensitive around black people so not to offend and this black made and written film really wants to touch a nerve on those points, often cruelly so.


• Tessa Thompson as Samantha "Sam" White
• Tyler James Williams as Lionel Higgins
• Kyle Gallner as Kurt Fletcher
• Teyonah Parris as Collandrea "Coco" Conners
• Brandon P. Bell as Troy Fairbanks
• Malcolm Barrett as Helmut West
• Dennis Haysbert as the Dean
• Brittany Curran as Sophie Fletcher
• Marque Richardson as Reggie
• Peter Syvertsen as President Hutchinson
• Justin Dobies as Gabe
• Brandon Alter as George
• Keith Myers as Black Mitch
• Naomi Ko as Sungmi
• Kate Gaulke as Annie
• Brian Curtis James as Martin
• Ashley Blaine Featherson as Curls
• Jemar Michael as Dreads
• Courtney Sauls as Wild


Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) is a heritage media arts major at the fictional Winchester University, a prestigious and predominantly white and expensive Ivy League school on the East Coast. With her sharp tongued and witty on campus radio show ‘Dear White People’ and her self-published book, Ebony and Ivy, Sam causes a stir among the college administration and student body alike, criticizing white people and the prickly racist transgressions at Winchester.


Professor Bodkin: ...Might I also remind you that I read your entire fifteen-page unsolicited treatise on why the Gremlins is actually about suburban white fear of black culture.
Sam White: The Gremlins are loud, talk in slang, are addicted to fried chicken and freak out when you get their hair wet.

When the attractive, intelligent Sam wins the election for head of house of Armstrong/Parker, the all-black fraternity house on campus, tensions rise. In winning the election, she surprisingly defeats her ex-boyfriend Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), the handsome son of the school's dean (Dennis Haysbert). Troy’s father prefers he becomes a lawyer and so Troy tends to hang out with the rich white kids at the school to further those chances but deep down he would rather be on TV in comedy. Sam also has a secret, dating a white student on the side, as is Troy dating a white girl.


The Dean –‘The men who really run this world? You got no idea what they see when they see you. You are not going to be what they all think you are. You will not give them that satisfaction, you hear me?’

Collandrea "Coco" Conners (Teyonah Parris), the hottest black girl at the school, also hangs out with the white kids and, like Troy, has media dreams of a TV career, currently talking to a black TV producer (Marque Richardson) to star in a reality TV show about the campus. But he has spotted Sam and more interested in doing a show on the witty light-skinned black girl than Coco.

Enter Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams), a black gay student with an exaggerated afro hairstyle, who grabs his big chance to finally getting his place at Winchester by being recruited by the school's most prestigious student paper to write a piece on Sam and the black experience at Winchester. When Kurt (Kyle Gallner), a white student and son of the school's president (Malcolm Barrett), and his less than racially diverse fraternity club come up with a black face theme for their annual party in response to Sam's and her friends outspoken views its time for Coco and Tyler to find out where their true loyalties and politics lay.


As enjoyable and refreshing as this is, there's a certain bite lacking here. Its snappy smart dialogue and delivery promises a lot early on but the slack plotting and surprisingly lavish college surroundings and sexy students nudge it into Beverley Hills 90120 territory, presumably to also sell the film to a young white audience, ironically. It begins to concentrate on the romantic side over the prickly outspoken stuff on race that you just don’t hear in many other movies and you really need to. It’s not chippy, either, and makes a lot of good points and jokes on America’s modern day subtle but porous racial divide and how white youth culture likes to ‘act black’ yet keeping the subtle racism in their back pockets. When white people are around black people they act differently so not to offend and black folks pick up on that and in this day and age even that registers on the race Geiger counter. It’s probably gone too far on college campus around the world on what is racism but this movie certainly makes some good points on how black people are made to conform to certain stereotypes in film and television that black youth end up copying and the roles they are forced to play.


‘….Dear white people, the minimum requirement of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, but your weed man, Tyrone, does not count…’

It’s actually based on the true story of an American university who held a "Compton Cookout" party, an event run by just one African American student but attended by UCSD's predominately white and Asian student body. The event itself went fine, but news about it prompted a massive uproar on campus. There are a lot of people out there who are looking to be offended because they always retain victim status and so nothing in their life their fault.

I got enough from the film and its sharp writing to enjoy it and not regret buying it and the fact it only grossed $3.5m world wide I guess I’m one of very few people in the UK to see it. But for all its glossy faults there is some smart comic writing here and director Justin Simien is going to kick up something very special one day, Training Day style. There are also some interesting direction style on show here I haven’t seen in other movies.

I would watch this just for its boldness and confidence around telling jokes around race and stuff like by-racial dating as we still don’t see black people kiss white people much on TV and in Hollywood film since Start Trek. It’s a little known fact but that was not televisions first interracial kiss. It was a movie with a black British actress called Leanne Khan, who kissed a great white hunter, but the studio got worried about the scene and so had her die of a snake bite soon after in the film. The studio couldn’t get worried here as it’s a low budget indie and with the help of Netflix it got made and, more importantly, it got out there.

RATINGS – 6.22 /10.0 (22,524votes) – 91% critic’s approval – 79% critic’s approval

Special Features

-The Making of DWP=

Straightforward stuff…

-Deleted Scenes-

A few



Sight & Sound –‘Dear White People is less than the sum of its very polished parts -- a first feature that's just impressive enough to be frustrating’,

The Guardian –‘Here's a film that refreshingly acknowledges various elephants in cinema's crowded living room: racism, the interracial sex taboo and class war’.

San Francisco Tribune –‘Dear White People is clever, loving, angry satire. It's a multi-faceted exploration of race in a time when such portrayals are needed. The film sometimes falters in its process, but delivers the goods when it matters most’.

New Statesman –‘Dear White People has its share of provocations about race but complex reality has overtaken its vision at a worrying speed’.

The Mail ‘-But as great as the message is, and as hilarious as it is at times, Dear White People struggles as a full-length film/

The NY Post –‘With his first film, Dear White People, Justin Simien has proven himself to be one the most exciting emerging voices in cinema. See it’.


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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 22/10/2017
    e :o)
  • anonymili published 16/10/2017
    Good stuff
  • BNibbles published 13/10/2017
    You've prompted me to watch the movie version on Netflix - not sure about the TV series that it has spawned though.
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Product Information : Dear White People (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s): Tyler James Williams, Dennis Haysbert, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner, Brittany Curran

Classification: 15 years and over

Director(s): Justin Simien

DVD Region: DVD

EAN: 5060262853276

Production Year: 2014

Video Category: Feature Film

Main Language: English


Listed on Ciao since: 03/10/2017