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Black Film is Not a Genre

Documentary series. A look at how black film-makers regained their voice, following an era when only white directors told prominent black stories.

Inspired by Spike Lee's 1989 hit Do the Right Thing, a new generation of black film-makers bursts onto the scene with an exciting new genre - the hood movie. Boyz in the Hood creates stars, yet this exciting moment turns into a passing fad, leading to an era when only white directors like Steven Spielberg are telling prominent black stories. This era sees the emergence of the bankable black Hollywood stars: Eddie Murphy, Will Smith and Denzel Washington.

This episode shows how black film-makers start to take back control of their own stories, culminating in the Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther.

Available now

59 minutes

Audio described

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:06



  • 00:07

    Eric B. & Rakim

    Juice (Know The Ledge)

  • 00:10

    Mobb Deep

    Shook Ones Pt II

  • 00:11


    Pick Up

  • 00:16

    Stanley Clarke

    Father and Sun

  • 00:18

    Submotion Orchestra


  • 00:19

    Curtis Mayfield


  • 00:24



  • 00:34


    No Skylarking

  • 00:50


    Bad Blood


Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Barry Jenkins
Interviewed Guest Jesse Williams
Interviewed Guest Kasi Lemmons
Interviewed Guest Milton 'Lil Rel' Howery
Interviewed Guest John Boyega
Interviewed Guest David Oyelowo
Interviewed Guest Debbie Allen
Interviewed Guest Brian White
Interviewed Guest George Nelson
Interviewed Guest Laurence Fishburne
Interviewed Guest Ernest Dickerson
Interviewed Guest Ruth E Carter
Interviewed Guest Delroy Lindo
Interviewed Guest John Singleton
Interviewed Guest Will i Am
Interviewed Guest Cuba Gooding Jr
Interviewed Guest Destiny Ekaragha
Interviewed Guest Boots Riley
Interviewed Guest Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Interviewed Guest Robert Townsend
Interviewed Guest Menelik Shabazz
Interviewed Guest Ashley Clark
Interviewed Guest Taylor Hackford
Interviewed Guest Whoopi Goldberg
Interviewed Guest David Harewood
Interviewed Guest Susan Wokoma
Interviewed Guest Gina Prince-Bythewood
Interviewed Guest Reggie Rock Bythewood
Interviewed Guest Carmen Ejogo
Presenter Simon Frederick
Editor Duncan O'Neill
Editor Yasmine Almosawi
Executive Producer Mike Connolly
Production Manager Storm Stewart
Director Simon Frederick
Writer Simon Frederick
Production Company AFL Films


  • Sat 20 Oct 2018 21:00
  • Fri 26 Oct 2018 23:40
  • Fri 9 Nov 2018 01:00
  • Sat 11 May 2019 22:45
  • Thu 18 Jul 2019 00:15
  • Sat 20 Jun 2020 23:30

Eight game-changing moments in black cinema history

Eight game-changing moments in black cinema history

Celebrating the pioneers who paved the way for the current generation of talent.