Directed by Spike Lee • 2000 • United States
Starring Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith
With this blisteringly funny, unapologetically confrontational satire, writer-director Spike Lee examined the past, present, and future of racism in American popular culture, issuing a daring provocation to creators and consumers alike. Under pressure to help revive his network’s low ratings, television writer Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans) hits on an explosively offensive idea: bringing back blackface with THE NEW MILLENNIUM MINSTREL SHOW. The white network executives love it, and so do audiences, forcing Pierre and his collaborators to confront their public’s insatiable appetite for dehumanizing stereotypes. Shot primarily on unvarnished digital video and boasting spot-on performances from Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, Mos Def, and Paul Mooney, Bamboozled is a stinging indictment of mass entertainment at the turn of the twenty-first century that looks more damning with each passing year.