‘Is That Black Enough for You?!?’ assessment: Elvis Mitchell digs in

Making an attempt a nuanced and caring overview of Black display historical past in a bit of greater than two hours is an unenviable activity, however movie critic turned writer-director Elvis Mitchell’s first foray into documentary filmmaking, “Is That Black Enough for You?!?,” definitely makes good work of it. Spanning from the primary glimpses of Black life onscreen within the early twentieth century by way of the altering nature of latest Black filmmaking cycles, Mitchell weaves the historic with the private in his bold examine of Black display pictures.

Specific emphasis is positioned on the Seventies — for good purpose — and the voices we hear from, together with Samuel L. Jackson, Charles Burnett and Billy Dee Williams — are greater than keen to share their firsthand expertise as each Black moviegoers and makers of Black cinema. Greater than that, Mitchell is especially insightful in his give attention to the strategies of (dis)identification which have traditionally formed Black audiences and the methods wherein we’ve got each projected and rejected the photographs we feature and see of ourselves inside movie’s cultural historical past.

Notable too are his introspections into Black stardom, with observations starting from the supposed “nonrepeatable phenomenon” of Black stars, the politics of illustration at work inside this, in addition to the contributions and concomitant erasure of Black ladies from conversations concerning the Black movie canon.

Whereas huge in its scope, “Is That Black Enough for You?!?” can’t fairly maintain as much as the load and breadth of all its materials, particularly within the remaining third the place its tempo turns into barely rushed. It’s a delayed, nearly breathless sense of urgency that’s simply forgiven contemplating the energy of Mitchell’s dedication to an in depth and embodied historiography. A shiny and breezy summation of Black cinema historical past this isn’t, and thank goodness for that.

‘Is That Black Enough for You?!?’

Rated: R, for nudity, some sexual content material, language, violence and drug materials

Working time: 2 hours quarter-hour

Taking part in: Begins October 28, Bay Theatre, Pacific Palisades; obtainable Nov. 11 on Netflix