Discrimination between blacks and whites in America today is as hot a topic as ever and Director Spike Lee takes us on a psychedelic mind trip illustrating the complexities of Black-White interactions with Bamboozled.

Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayons) is a creative writer for a cable TV station managed by Dunwitty (Michael Rapaport). Dunwitty is looking for material that will shock audiences to improve ratings (à la The Jerry Springer Show). Delacroix initially comes with an idea for a show, Mantan: The New Millennium Minstrel Show, where Blacks dress up in Black Face and satirise racism, but the audience appear to miss the point and the humour generated makes Delacroix and his show famous. Driven by greed for fame and fortune, he ignores the racist implications resulting in disastrous consequences.

The message the movie appears to be telling us (in the way Delacroix intended to do) is that almost all Black entertainment today is made to satisfy the White majority. The movie also directly implies that the mostly-White executives who control the Entertainment channels support Black entertainment mostly in a condescending manner, one that isn't that much different from Slave-era treatment of Blacks.

These are all powerful statements to make and Spike Lee argues for their truth (quite convincingly) through this role-reversal story where economics, class, and race intermingle in a complex manner. I recommend checking Bamboozled out if you have the patience for dialogue.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala ||