Black Films That Influenced Me – Sudz Sutherland

DGC Ontario Director Sudz Sutherland shares with us the Black films and Directors who influenced his art.

Sudz is known for his films Home Again and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones as well as his recent episodic work on Ginny & Georgia, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, For The Record and Batwoman. Sudz is currently developing a comedy series for CFC-Netflix, #relationshipgoals, and will be producing and directing on a powerful new documentary series, BLK: An Origin Story, that he co-created about lost Black History in Canada.

A scene from Purple Rain

Purple Rain (1984)

“This film is at times very problematic for how it handles its female characters, of course. However, it is a part of my cinematic DNA. This film burst into the world’s cultural landscape and has stayed with us ever since. I skipped summer school to see this movie opening day, and I went right back in and saw it twice more that same day, at Cedarbrae Cinemas in Scarborough. R.I.P. A rare glimpse into the enigma known as The Artist, Prince Rogers Nelson, R.I.P..”

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A scene from Do The Right Thing

Do The Right Thing (1989)

“This film will be one of the few films from the 1980s to be discussed in 50 years. An honest portrayal of life in Brooklyn pre-gentrification, Do the Right Thing crammed so much in its 125 minutes. This film inspires on so many levels. Also, Public Enemy – Fight the Power!”

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A scene from Chameleon Street

Chameleon Street (1989)

“This film was a truly independent vision from Wendell B. Harris. It describes a Black Con man from Detroit, William Douglas Street, Jr., who impersonated a Time Magazine reporter, a pro football player, a surgeon, a lawyer, an African student, and many other professions. A powerful meditation on identity, and blackness, this film appeared due to the passion of Wendell B. Harris, who and still would be groundbreaking if it were to be released today.”

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A scene from Get Out

Get Out (2017)

“This film invented a new genre, and it feels fresh every time I watch it. Get Out manages to present images that disturb, shock, and validate all at the same time. Such a smart script, it inspires and challenges all of us to come up with something amazing.”

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A scene from Love And Basketball

Love And Basketball (2000)

“This romance had a fresh take on romance and all its complications, and its stars had real chemistry. Gina Prince Bythewood directs from her script, and it had a real air of authenticity and a satisfying romance between two hard-core basketball players. This film makes a case for women’s pro basketball just at the WNBA was getting off the ground.”

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