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‘Dear White People’ Director Justin Simien Calls ‘Black Panther’ a ‘New and Tantalizing American Myth’

He praises the film for disproving a lie about so-called "black films."

Creator/Exec. Producer Justin Simien seen at 'Dear White People' Netflix FYSee exhibit space with a Q&A on Sunday, June 04, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Netflix/AP Images)

Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Netflix/AP Images

If you hadn’t heard, there’s this new movie called “Black Panther” and people are pretty into it. One of them is Justin Simien, the writer and director of “Dear White People,” who in a series of tweets says that one Ryan Coogler’s film’s most powerful qualities is that it “introduces a new and tantalizing American myth. One where our common African ancestors are at the forefront, endowing all their descendants with reason, equanimity, compassion, and the ability to see complex truths.”

“Much will be said of its myth-busting. Namely that it disproves an age old relic used to temper voices of color for decades: the lie that ‘black films’ don’t ‘travel,” he continues. “But I just wanted to briefly acknowledge the deeply powerful story that Mr. Coogler and his collaborators just injected into the center of our modern day myth machine known as Hollywood. What beautiful things might generations raised on stories like these accomplish? One can’t help but… hope. And hope is something I think a lot of us have been short on for a long time.”

In addition to writing and directing “Dear White People,” which premiered four years ago at Sundance, Simien also wrote and directed three episodes of Netflix’s TV adaptation of his film. “Black Panther” is having a huge weekend at the box office, having already made $75 million.

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