What to Stream - Black History Month

February 3, 2017

What To Stream is our weekly article that highlights some of the best new movies available from the various VOD services like iTunes and Amazon Video and also from the subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

 

Black History Month has arrived and these are some of the newly available movies that you should check out.

 

VOD (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Video, VUDO, etc.)

 

The Birth of a Nation - Nate Parker's film, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Festival, is finally available to rent from the various VOD services. Reclaiming and re-purposing the title The Birth of a Nation from the 1915 film that promoted the Ku Klux Klan, Parker's movie tells the story of Nat Turner, a slave who led a historical rebellion in Virginia. Bloody and powerful, this historical tale shows us the price that slaves were willing to pay for a chance at freedom.  

 

Loving - Telling the true story behind the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned state laws prohibiting interracial marriage, Loving is an engaging film. Starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple whose marriage was the center of the titular case. Ruth Negga has been nominated for best leading actress because of her role in this movie. Equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting, Loving is definitely worth seeing. As of right now, the film is only available for purchase, but will be available for rent sometime soon.

 

Subscription Streaming (Netflix and Amazon Prime)

 

13th - Ava DuVernay's 13th is available exclusively on Netflix. This unflinching documentary takes a hard look at the mass incarceration of young african americans since the passage of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. The film explores post-slavery America and then focuses into more modern times and how the war on drugs was used to disrupt and destabilize various African-American communities.

 

What Happened, Miss Simone? - Using archival footage and rare interviews, What Happened, Miss Simone? provides an intimate look into the life of Nina Simone. Singer, activist, and icon, Nina Simone was able to use her fame and persona to reach a lot of ears during the civil rights movement that normally wouldn't have tuned in to listen. The High Priestess of Soul also had a fiery temper and was famous for her tantrums, including discharging a handgun at a producer who owed her money.  This documentary is exceedingly well crafted and gives us a new look at an important figure.

 

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