The ’90s has to be one of the best decades in the history of American cinema. Most of us grew up as cinephiles watching ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Shawshank Redemption’, all of which redefined mainstream filmmaking in Hollywood. Tons of articles have been written in praise of classics from that era, but a whole other section of movies made in that period has been widely overlooked: African-American cinema. While a lot of mainstream movies have touched upon the lives of African-Americans, very few could delve deep into the realities of their society. In that sense, 90s was a decade in where several black filmmakers were finding their foot. And later in 2000s and 2010s they would go on to make (or inspire) great black movies. With that in mind, today, we take a look at the list of top black movies of the 1990s:
14. Juice (1992)
It is easier than thought, to become lost in the gradual gain of “juice”, which four teenagers from Harlem refer to as power and respect. Following them through their day-to-day lives, we notice the repetitive police and gang harassment present in their reality, which brings us into this atmosphere where they quickly, too, become corrupted by this pursuit of power. However it is particularly one of them that takes the lead and quickly goes off the rails in this gun-violence controlled hood. Once more on this list, we face a film in which we have the two possible outcomes from this degenerating life, where the character either gets sucked into a life of crime or overcomes the attracting forces and liberates itself forward into a better future. Starring Tupac Shakur, it’s definitely a crime film worth a watch.
Read More: Best Cartoon Shows of the 1990s
13. La Haine (1995)
A simple story, set over the course of 24 hours, black and white and with a small budget. This simple story however, carries a heavy message and boldly addresses the racial and class discrepancy found in our present society. Inspired by real events that took place, this film revolves around three inhabitants of the Parisian suburbs, a Jewish, an African and an Arab, who learn of the death of a friend who was involved in a riot and who’s injuries caused by police brutality are the cause of his fatal end. This enrages them and brings desire for revenge leaving hate as their only motivation for the hours to come, just like one of them states “ hatred breeds hatred “. And for the weeks following the film, it was the awards who were waiting on them, in order to pay tribute to the meaningful efforts and grandiose performances offered to the world.