Black films matter

BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther feature prominently in this year's Oscars race, signifying that Hollywood and audiences seem to be embracing diversity

BlacKkKlansman, which stars Adam Driver (top left) and John David Washington (top right), scored six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spike Lee (above). Black Panther, which stars Lupita Nyong'o (left) and Letitia Wright (right), is the
BlacKkKlansman, which stars Adam Driver (left) and John David Washington (right), scored six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spike Lee. PHOTO: WALT DISNEY PICTURES
BlacKkKlansman, which stars Adam Driver (top left) and John David Washington (top right), scored six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spike Lee (above). Black Panther, which stars Lupita Nyong'o (left) and Letitia Wright (right), is the
BlacKkKlansman, which stars Adam Driver and John David Washington, scored six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spike Lee (above). PHOTO: UIP
BlacKkKlansman, which stars Adam Driver (top left) and John David Washington (top right), scored six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Spike Lee (above). Black Panther, which stars Lupita Nyong'o (left) and Letitia Wright (right), is the
Black Panther, which stars Lupita Nyong'o (left) and Letitia Wright (right), is the first superhero flick to score a Best Picture nod.PHOTO: WALT DISNEY PICTURES

Black film-makers and actors are breaking new ground with the recent Oscar nominations and for two very different movies released last year.

The big-budget box-office smash Black Panther, led by a black cast and director, is up for seven awards and the first superhero flick to score a Best Picture nod. And BlacKkKlansman, a biographical comedy-drama, has six nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director, which makes Spike Lee only the sixth black film-maker in the Academy's 91-year history to be named in that category.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2019, with the headline 'Black films matter'. Subscribe