This touching film was the inspiration for this list of films of biracial characters in films on Netflix. Barry is an Amazon original production and it’s really good. I got teary-eyed more than a few times watching the film and the way in which it shows young Barack Obama negotiating his place in the world as a young biracial/African-American man. Devon Terrell (be-still-my-heart) puts in a solid, nuanced, and touching performance of young Barack Obama striking a great balance with the way he speaks –it is in no way an Obama impression but you feel the style of his speech replicating his thought process as it does still today. Don’t miss this film. Did I mention that it’s really really good.
Beyond the Lights (2014)
This is one of my favorite films. It is truly a wonderful love story and guaranteed to make you cry. The story is centered on the story of a mixed-race pop singer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and her troubled relationship with her mother-manager and her skyrocketing career. Enter a policeman doing extra duty as a private security guard (Nate Parker) when she needs him most. The love story plays out so beautifully. And it also becomes a love story in which the heroine finally learns to love herself.
Yelling to the Sky (2012)
This is a really beautiful and painful film that I sure wish I had seen when I was younger. Zoe Kravitz stars in this film about a biracial girl who is growing up amid violence and neglect. You really want to reach out and help this young woman as she tries to navigate this difficult world and ultimately tries to make better choices for herself.
French Dirty (2015)
We were so lucky to screen French Dirty at the 2015 Mixed Remixed Festival. It’s a beautiful and visually compelling film about love and deception and the complications of sibling rivalry and love. The film has been dubbed “a very Los Angeles version of the kind of French romantic drama made by Eric Rohmer, Francois Truffaut, or more recently Arnaud Desplechin.” The film is a fresh take on the multiracial and mixed-race experience that has family at the heart of it. Definitely check this out.
Little White Lie (2014)
This excellent documentary about how Lacey Schwartz was raised to believe her tan skin came from her Sicilian grandfather only to learn the truth as a young adult about her biracial background is a stunner. I had a chance to see the film in a theater full of mixed folks and you could hear us all gasp at certain parts. The film does an excellent job of exposing how our country’s ideas of race complicate familial relationships as much as they make it difficult for us to claim them.
Trevor Noah: African American (2013)
It’s worthwhile to check out this stand-up by Trevor Noah that was recorded long before he was tapped to be on much less host The Daily Show. Of course, I love that he mines the humor of being mixed-race in apartheid South Africa. BTW there really shouldn’t be a lot to laugh about on that subject, but Noah finds the funny for us. It may seem a little dated given the current state of the country, but I think you’ll find the humor in it when we really need to laugh.