about the African American experience and its history. The success of films such as Precious and Beasts of the Southern Wild were harbingers of this year’s line-up: Lee Daniel’s The Butler, Fruitvale Station, Blue Caprice, Mother of George, Pariah, and The Stuart Hall Project at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Let the Fire Burn and Black Nativity are to come. On the music side, there was Muscle Shoals, and Twenty Feet From Stardom. Most of these have received rave reviews. With more films on the way, it’s clear that a new generation of directors and writers have moved beyond stereotype, broad comedy, and exploitation to find important stories that face America’s troubled racial history.
With 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen, the brilliant black British director of Hunger andShame, might have made the first masterpiece of this new black cinema.