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Directed by Spike Lee

United States 2000 135 mins. In English

Routinely overshadowed by Lee’s better-known films (Do the Right Thing, She’s Gotta Have It, Malcolm X, et al.), Bamboozled is perhaps his angriest, most overtly scintillating work. Harvard-educated Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans), a Black producer working for a large broadcast television network, struggles to come up with the season’s hot new idea—and, after some help from his assistant Sloane Hopkins (Jada Pinkett), stumbles into producing a minstrel show starring street performers Manray (Savion Glover) and Womack (Tommy Davidson) as black performers wearing Blackface and acting in full caricature. The show proves a surprise mainstream hit, to the delight of Delacroix’s racist and money-grubbing boss, but as the accolades roll in, success begins to get the better of Delacroix and Manray, with violent and troubling consequence. Employing a raw, energetic style utilizing grainy digital video in a presciently proto-viral move, this “Under-appreciated and under-seen… major studio work fearlessly explores the corrosive, lasting effects of the racial stereotypes forged in Hollywood’s early days and beyond.”—Ashley Clark, Facing Blackness.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.