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Friday, August 2, 2013

God's Step Children (1938)























Starring:
  • Jacqueline Lewis
  • Ethel Moses
  • Alice B. Russell

IMDB.com
A young light-skinned Negress struggles to find her place in both the black and the white worlds.

Yet another highly controversial film from pioneer director Oscar Micheaux, which tries to be critical of black people who hate being black. A black mother gives birth to a mixed baby but she can't stand the backlash so she gives the child to another black woman. At nine years old, this child starts lying and trying to get her black teachers into trouble because she hates being black. She's sent to a convent but when the girl returns at the age of 21, she again tries to destroy everyone around here. This is an incoherent mess of a film that doesn't make a bit a sense and it's never real clear what message the director is trying to send. I couldn't make heads or tails out of any scene and in the end I was left with a major headache. The other films from the director that I've seen were often critical of black people, which was a brave thing to do considering these films only played black theaters but whatever Micheaux's point was here is certainly lost. Needless to say, the acting is pretty horrid throughout, which is hard to be too critical of since the majority of blacks were allowed in any sort of acting school at the time.

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