The subject of race is, without doubt, a sensitive one, and making a movie depicting that without coming off as racist can be quite a task, which is why most filmmakers would rather not mess with the subject. That is not to say that many movies have not been with race at its center but very few, if any, can be compared with brilliant writer and filmmaker, Justin Simien’s shot at the subject in his dramatic funny film and series, Dear White People. We discuss five interesting things you should know about Justin Simien’s Dear White People works of art in this article, keep reading.
Justin Simien’s Dear White People: 5 Interesting Things To Know
1. The Movie, Dear White People, Was A Passion Project
The 2014 film took Justin Simien about ten years to come to life. The writer said he did not have the opportunity to see such a movie when he was still in school. According to him, all the black people films that were available to him were set in a world of black people and that was different from his personal experience. He wanted to make a movie that no one was looking for, or at least people didn’t know they were looking for. So after years of nurturing the idea of a daring and artful racial movie that would include different people of different races, he finally decided to do something about it.
2. Justin Simien Quit His Job To Make The Movie
At the time Simien felt he was ready to actualize his dream, he had a good-paying PR job that he averagely liked but his passion was really to become a filmmaker and he was not ready to bear the burden of another year passing without him working on his long-term project so he sourced for funds to make a trailer of the film and not long after, took the bold step of quitting his job.
He had a total savings of $2000 and a few friends, they set up a campaign on the online crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. As fate would have it, they were able to raise $25,000 in three days and thus, were able to begin pre-production with that amount. Justin Simien and his crew carried their online network along on his progress and as a result, they were able to secure the full fund required and festival entrances without having to start from scratch.
3. Justin Simien’s Dear White People Series Was Based On The Film
While the making of the film was a dream come true for the filmmaker, he was not able to achieve everything he wanted in the film. For one, he wanted the film to feature a lot of people but not only was he unable to afford that financially, he was also unsure if he had the skill to pull that off, says Simien to Collider.
All that changed when Netflix became involved in May 2016, the online streaming service ordered ten episodes for the first season of the show that premiered in April 2017 followed by the same number of episodes for the second season that was released in May 2018 and then the third season which premiered in August 2019.
4. The Series Has Been Renewed For Its Final Season.
The news of the show’s renewal for its fourth and final season broke on October 2, 2019, through one of the lead actors in the film and series, Marque Richardson, who shared the exciting news with his co-stars via a group Facetime video call and they all seemed to be excited by that.
The upcoming final season is scheduled to premiere on an unspecified date in 2020. In an emotional gratitude statement, Simien said he cannot wait to create a concluding season befitting of the show that changed his life.
5. Justin Simien’s Dear White People: Controversy and Reception.
In addition to winning multiple awards, the film was both a critical and commercial hit and as for the series, despite the fact that its first trailer provoked discouraging responses from some livid Twitter and YouTube users for being offensive to white people when it was released, all three seasons that have been released have performed extraordinarily well.
As far as reception goes, the second season holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 critical reviews and a universal acclaim of 89/100 on Metacritic. The first season holds 98% on the former and 85/100 on the latter while the third season has 89% and 78 out of 100 respectively.