This raises a worthwhile question - one that I've discussed previously on my podcast - the question being, whether a film like this, about a young black girl, is one that should be helmed by a black woman/man director, as opposed to a white man (Fred Durst) in this case.
I should also point out that the screenplay was written by a pair of white men as well.
So, once again, we have a film that tells the story of black people written and directed by white men - as we've seen numerous times previously - most recently, in the case of Robert Johnson's Our Stories Films Inc, and it's 2 releases thus far, Who's Your Caddy? and the upcoming, Mission Intolerable. Granted those 2 films aren't exactly notable, worthwhile productions that would call for black talent behind the cameras, but what can't be dismissed so readily is the obvious lack of blacks in those off-camera positions. So one would expect that when an opportunity arises to produce films that tell the stories of black people, regardless of how inconsequential or fluffy the pieces might be, the producers of those films will go out of their way to hire available black talent to place at the helm of each production.
Obviously, I'm not saying that choices like this must be solely race-dependent. Whites have and can direct films about non-whites, as can blacks write/direct films about non-blacks - as well as Latinos, Asians, etc... In an utopian world, none of this would matter. But, alas, we don't live in a utopia, so color does unfortunately matter, and can't be wholly ignored. One has to consider what the overall lasting effects of some of these choices are. On the surface, it might seem somewhat trivial to even have this discussion, but any thinking person (and we are all capable, thinking people) should be able to see what might lurk beneath the covers.
Granted fictional films like some I mentioned aren't necessarily race-dependent, meaning the characters could be played by actors of any color or ethnicity, making that the only difference in what the audience sees in the final product. However, one could argue that having people of color on screen is itself a powerful, political move, regardless of the story being told, and any opportunity given to tell stories about people of color should indeed be handled with a certain sensitivity that might only be innate in a writer/director specific to the race of people in front of the camera.
I should also point out that the Fred Durst directed film in question is based on a true story.
Regardless, I can only hope that the end product in this case is a well-made, interesting, complex, entertaining film.
This is an ongoing discussion, and I'm sure it will come up again from time to time, possibly with no real eventual solution... if a solution is even necessary.
Your thoughts are welcome.
Palmer joins Ice Cube’s pic
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee) has joined Ice Cube in his untitled inspirational sports drama for Dimension Films.
Palmer will play Jasmine Plummer, the first female quarterback in Pop Warner history, who with her teammates draws support from her uncle (Ice Cube) and members of their Illinois town when the team plays in the Pop Warner Super Bowl.
Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?), Jill Marie Jones (The Perfect Holiday), Dash Mihok (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), Matt Craven (The Clearing) and Garrett Morris (Jackpot) also have joined the cast. Comedians Earthquake (Clerks II) and Michael Colyar (Norbit) also will appear in the film, which had been titled "Comeback."
Limp Bizkit frontman-turned-director Fred Durst is directing from a script by Doug Atchison.
Nick Santora, who wrote the original screenplay, is producing with Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez (Are We There Yet?) through their production company Cube Vision.