Damon Wayans
Director: Spike Lee Cast: Damon Wayans
Damon Wayans
, Savion Glover
Savion Glover
, Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith
Spike Lee


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Writer and director Spike Lee casts his satiric gaze on racism in American television and how America's racist past still impacts the present in this biting comedy. Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) is an astute, Harvard-educated African-American writer working for an independent television network who is assigned to brainstorm a new show for the African-American audience. Delacroix is the only black writer on the network's staff, and the longer he works under Dunwitty (Michael Rapaport), the loudmouthed executive in charge of programming, the more he's convinced he's made a mistake. Wanting to be fired, Delacroix writes a pilot he imagines is so offensive no network would ever dare to air it: "The ManTan Minstrel Show," in which dancer Man Ray (Savion Glover) and comedian Womack (Tommy Davidson) portray two shiftless dunderheads, ManTan and Sleep 'N Eat -- who are to be played in blackface. To Delacroix's surprise, Dunwitty gives the idea the go-ahead, and to his shock, the show is soon a massive hit. Delacroix is now stuck trying to explain his show to the African-American community, who are generally not amused, especially Sloan Hopkins (Jada Pinkett Smith), his assistant on the staff, who has become involved with Man Ray. In order to give Bamboozled a look that would suit its setting in the world of network television, Spike Lee and cinematographer Ellen Kuras shot the entire film using digital video equipment.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse

With his provocative Bamboozled, a raging satire on mass-media trivialization and stereotyping of African Americans, writer-director Spike Lee forces even his fiercest supporters to wrestle with troubling questions. It opens with a network big shot (Michael Rapaport) castigating a black, Harvard-educated TV writer (Damon Wayans) for his insufficient ethnicity. Charged with delivering a hit show -- or else -- Wayans swallows his pride and hires homeless street artists Savion Glover and Tommy Davidson to appear in blackface on his "New Millennium Minstrel Show." Their retro-racist routines, along with the inspired musical stylings of a house band called the Alabama Porch Monkeys, make the show a surprise hit, inducing Wayans and assistant Jada Pinkett-Smith to overlook its ugly stereotyping. Lee occasionally pushes the point too hard, but flashes of brilliance temper his self-indulgence. He makes the case that the media in general, and TV in particular, are always tempted to fall back on hurtful attitudes and icons -- especially when ratings are low. Bamboozled is occasionally draggy, preachy, and self-important -- but, like Lee's best films, it's also passionate and forceful. Lee supplies a commentary for the DVD, which also features a making-of documentary, deleted scenes, music videos, a gallery of artwork created for the movie, cast/crew filmographies, and DVD-ROM content.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/17/2020
UPC: 0715515242714
Original Release: 2000
Source: Criterion Collection
Region Code: 1
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 2:16:00
Sales rank: 9,248

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