My Baby is Black! / Checkerboard (Special Edition)
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I don't fault Something Weird Video for putting this out because they are an incredible company that gives us b and z grade movie fans crap to watch that never would have seen the light of day otherwise. Here is hoping that the 2nd feature, "Checkerboard" is a step up
The subject of race and sexual relationships is even a hot button topic in our world today, so it was probably almost taboo to broach the subject in the 1960's. Yet, that is what this little French films tries to do. And I stress "tries," because the inept way the subject matter is handled ruins what could have been an interesting and thoughtful drama on the issue.
The story revolves around a young French woman named Françoise (played by Françoise Giret) who falls in love with a black man named Daniel (played by Gordon Heath), as she is forced to deal with some of the unsavory complications interracial coupling brings in the 1960's.
As I said, it is some very heavy subject matter to explore. That's why it is such a shame that very little exploring is actually done on it. Oh, there is a lot of (dubbed in) talking about the struggles and strife interracial couples go through, but very little of it is actually shown until near the end of the film. Much like the college professor here (played by Aram Stephan) does in his class, it's all talk, talk, talk! We are rarely shown Françoise and Daniel actually dealing with the bigotry and racism they complain about and we would expect them to face. They spend much of the film walking around the city and in the bedroom, musing over what it means to be a black man in a white man's world, or how hard it is for an interracial love to survive in those modern times. In a film that is trying to tackle such serious themes, not showing very much of the conflicts within those themes shows an inexperience that borders on the insipid. Like someone telling you what it's like to be in love, without ever having been in love themselves, the film has no spark, heart, or soul.Read more ›
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