Whether you look at Ryan Coogler spearheading Black Panther, or Jordan Peele revitalizing the thriller genre with Get Out, or Steven Caple Jr. taking the mantle in Creed II, or Steve McQueen at the helm of an all-female cast in Widows, or Barry Jenkins following up the success of Moonlight with the highly anticipated If Beale Street Could Talk, African-American filmmakers are becoming a more consistent presence in Hollywood.
It's an occurrence that feels a bit sudden considering the campaign #OscarsSoWhite is only a few years old. There also has to be concerns about this movement's staying power despite the critical and commercial success that many black filmmakers have experienced since the issue regarding lack of inclusion was brought to the forefront. Could this moment just be a flash in the pan, or is Hollywood determined to make changes that will have a long-term impact?
During his interview with TheWrap, BlackKklansman director Spike Lee expressed concerns about this movement's staying power. "It his has nothing to do with me. I just hope that this is not a trend," Lee said. "I hope this is steady, that it’s not just like a blip where everything came together and then nothing happens after this. We have to keep up the momentum."
After BlackKklansman actor John David Washington mentioned that he wants to see people of color taking on more meaningful film industry roles that have nothing to with being an actor, Lee added, "What my man says is very important, because everybody can’t be in front of the camera. And the truth is, the people with the most power are behind the camera. Everybody can’t be fabulous, you know? Can’t be getting their shine, you know?"
BlackKklansman has been considered a return to form for Spike Lee and is one of the most acclaimed films of 2018. It notably won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival.