MASTER – Review by Lonita Cook

Regina Hall (who also co-produced) gives a rousing performance as the newly appointed first-ever Black House Master of a traditionally White college dorm when Jasmine, a Black student moves in. Mix Black House Master, Black student, Black professor seeking tenure, favored White students, an evaluation board, the legend of a witch, the mythic tale of the first Black student who ended up hanged and you get a fertile landscape in which to cultivate a narrative around placing the displaced.

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Mariama Diallo on Ghosts, Empowerment and MASTER (Sundance FF 2022) – Pamela Powell interviews

Writer/Director Mariama Diallo’s gripping first feature, Master, is a horror tale centering on the experiences of a Black young woman who is enrolled at a New England college with a predominantly White student body. Receiving many accolades at it’s Sundance 2022 premiere, the film has been picked up for distribution via Amazon Prime Video beginning March 18, 2022. Diallo discusses all the real-life inspiration that lead her to tell this haunting tale.

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NINE PERFECT STRANGERS – Review by Susan Granger

When production in Australia began on this new Hulu series, Nicole Kidman refused to meet the rest of the cast until she was in character as beatific Masha Dmitrichenko, the mysteriously serene leader of a holistic wellness center who uses questionable treatments and experimental practices on her clients.

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SHAFT – Review by Lynnette Nicholas

John Shaft’s no-nonsense, street-style of fighting crime, coupled with JJ’s (aka John Shaft, Jr) millennial political-correctness, cyber smarts and sensitive consideration for the humanity in others makes for an interesting and dynamic storyline that is sure to create nostalgia for the original Shaft films, while instilling a newfound respect for the Shaft franchise in current millennial audiences.

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THE HATE U GIVE – Review by Susan Granger

Based on Angie Thomas’ bestselling 2017 YA novel, this social justice drama revolves around teenage Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is trying to maintain an emotional balance as she straddles two disparate worlds. Raised in the poor, predominantly black Georgia neighborhood of Garden Heights, Starr goes to Williamson Prep a private, predominantly white suburban school. That involves constant code-switching.

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