It’s good to see another type of Black/African-American male representation that doesn’t fall into ridiculous stereotypes.

High-school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) bond over ’90s hip-hop culture, their studies and playing music in their own punk band. A chance encounter with a drug dealer named Dom lands Malcolm and company at the dealer’s nightclub birthday party; when the scene turns violent, they flee — with the Ecstasy that Dom secretly hid in Malcolm’s backpack. A wild adventure ensues as the youths try to evade armed thugs who want the stash. Recurring themes in Rick Famuyiwa’s work:  In the majority of Famuyiwa’s films, friendship plays a central role to the characters’ development and progression throughout the film. In The Wood, the male bonding between the three childhood friends is the main focus of the film. Commenting on the lack of male bonding depictions in African American Films, Famuyiwa says, “So just in general, if it’s a man in the film, he’s gotta be tough, he’s gotta be carrying a gun, he’s gotta be saving the world, and you rarely get to see that. But especially if you’re talking about African American films. You never see that. I mean, you see the opposite, with Black women bonding, but you’ve never seen that for men.”Although The Wood was not revolutionary in its depiction of African American male bonding, it did provide audiences with an angle and message in cinema seldom seen elsewhere. Additionally, thus far, nearly all of Famuyiwa’s feature films have dealt with the institution of marriage in one form or another. Often, marriage in Famuyiwa’s films coincides with race relations and the evolution of relationships that must grow and mature to accommodate each character’s specific needs and dreams. [Wiki]


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