Parents' Guide to

1 Angry Black Man

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Lovely but quiet, mature drama shows the power of art.

Movie R 2020 92 minutes
1 Angry Black Man Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Thought and discussion provoking movie

I watched this movie looking for professional growth and found much personal reflection. Will watch again. and again.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Lovely and dramatic, this small, quiet film illuminates both the life experiences of a small group of New England college students and the Black writers whose work allows them to connect. After a lifetime of traumatic experiences (Mike refers obliquely to his 9-year-old brother "dying in his arms" and the deaths of many other family members) followed by a stint at a plush university where he's felt marginalized and othered, Mike is understandably on edge after his arrest -- particularly since he's about to graduate into an uncertain future. In the literature class discussion where this movie spends most of its time, revolving around the table where students and teacher sit and talk, Mike simmers with justifiable fury.

But then all of the students are bringing their backgrounds and biases into the classroom with them. Kyle (William W. Wallace), whom Carla calls the "token Republican" of the class, uses points from Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God to needle his classmates about free speech and liberal hypocrisy. Ellen (Elizabeth Saunders) admits that her primary reaction to reading Black literature is to worry about her biracial son and how harsh the world can be to "little brown boys." The film sags a bit when the students devolve into theoretical discussions about feminism, conservatism, and being triggered. But it soars each time we return to the literary works the students are discussing and we learn how what they've read makes an impact on their real lives. Eddie (Ramon Nuñez) apologizes for "getting heavy" by relating a terrible incident that involved his mom and a knife, but there's "just so much honesty in the material, I'm learning not to carry all that stuff around." As a beautiful example of how art can help people feel their feelings and find each other, 1 Angry Black Man is unique and powerful.

Movie Details

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