“I See White People” is a quarterly series on the visibility of white racism, white privilege, and privileged white cultures in documentary and fiction film.
In our July 26 and 27th installments, we will be showing Brian De Palma’s quirky , dark comedy “Hi, Mom!” (1970, 87 minutes).
“Hi, Mom! is a black comedy featuring Robert De Niro in one of his first movie roles, reprising his role of Jon Rubin from De Palma’s earlier Greetings. In this film, Rubin is a fledgling “adult filmmaker” who has an idea to post cameras at his window and video tape his neighbors. Its most memorable sequence is one where a black radical group invite a group of WASPs to feel what it’s like to be black, in a sequence called Be Black, Baby. It is both a satire and an example of the experimental theatre and cinéma vérité movements. Shot in the style of a documentary film, it features a theater group of African American actors interviewing Caucasians on the streets of New York City, asking them if the whites know what it is like to be black in America. De Palma’s familiarity and collaboration with experimental theatre informs the sequence and ratchets up the emotional impact of those who view it, simultaneously engaging their personal responses to racism and commenting on the deceptive and manipulative power of cinema. “
“I See White People” series, screening “Hi, Mom!”
July 26th & 27th, 7:30pm
343 Lenox (Malcolm X Blvd)
New York, NY