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American Fiction

A novelist challenges offensive tropes in Black entertainment by writing an outlandish book.


Why watch this film?

In the face of a more enlightened racial awareness, yet ne that falls into empty political correctness in the jaws of voracious consumerism; racial dynamics and their nuances, complexities, and contradictions become a caricature of themselves. American Fiction, nominated for the 2024 Oscar for Best Picture, is a brilliant exploration of such a thorny assertion. The plot follows Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright in one of his best roles), an African American professor and writer whose career stalls because his books are not "black" enough. So what does he do? He adopts a pseudonym and writes a satirical novel aiming to expose the hypocrisy of the publishing world and our culture... but the world loves it for all the wrong reasons, and its popularity spirals out of control. It's a hilarious satire that addresses complicated issues with wit and humor, comfortably coexisting with other titles like Sorry to Bother You and some films in Spike Lee's filmography. The cast is more than up to the task: Tracee Ellis Ross, Sterling K. Brown, Issa Rae, and Keith David are among the names that grace this production.



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Plot summary

Fed up with "Black" entertainment that relies on offensive tropes, a novelist decides to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own to make a point.

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