The Darker Side of Black
1994, 59:09 minutes, colour, English
"In 1992 Jet Star records released 'Boom Bye Bye', a reggae single by Jamaican reggae dancehall recording artist Buju Banton, which suggested that lesbians and gays should be executed. Shabba Ranks is also notoriously homophobic in his lyrics, which he justifies by thumping the Bible.
Moving between London, Jamaica and New York and talking with stars, fans, academics,activists and even Jamaica's former Prime Minister, director Isaac Julien takes on the darker, harder edge of rap and reggae: homophobia, gangsta chic, urban violence, gun worship, machismo, misogyny, nihilism, drugs dance-hall culture's sexual dynamics. This provocative documentary veers between the prudish and poetic, and incorporates a good dose of fact and analysis in arguing that aggressive power in music is a substitute for social and political power. It also delights us with its intelligence, its refusal of easy judgments, its rich visual textures- music video clips, interviews, club scenes and cinematographer Arthur Jaffa's ravishing images."
-Kay Armitage, Toronto International Film Festival, 1994
Interviewees include academics Cornel West and Tricia Rose, and stars like Chuck D and Ice Cube.
Rental and Sales
Single Screening Rental
Educational Purchase DVD (Bluray +$15)
5 Year Educational Streaming License, Digital File with DVD Circulation Copy
Gallery Exhibition and Installation, complete Media Request form for quote
Institutional Archival Acquisition, complete Media Request form for quote
Curators and programmers, please contact email@example.com to receive a login and password to preview Vtape titles online.
Screening and exhibition rentals and archival acquisitions include public performance rights; educational purchases or licenses include rights for classroom screenings and library circulation. When placing an order the customer agrees to our general online terms and conditions. Payment (or a purchase order number) and a signed licensing agreement must be received before media can be shipped to the client.