The Criterion Collection has removed their paywall on all narrative films and documentaries made by Black filmmakers in an act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. A statement from the platform reads, “We are committed to examining the role we play in the idea of canon formation, whose voices get elevated, and who gets to decide what stories get told.” Additionally, the company donated $25,000 and will continue monthly contributions of $5,000 with various advocacy groups, bail funds and community organizations. Dazed offers viewing suggestions: “[Leilah] Weinraub’s 2018 documentary, Shakedown, about a Black lesbian strip club in Los Angeles; [Maya] Angelou’s Down in the Delta, the writer and activist’s sole feature length film, about a drug-addled woman whose mother sends her and her children to a small Mississippi town; and [Cheryl] Dunye’s 1996 debut, Watermelon Woman, about a twenty-something lesbian struggling to make a documentary about Fae Richards, a 1930s Black film actress.” We also hope that with this move, Criterion Collection expands their offerings from BIPOC filmmakers. Read more at DazedDigital.
Criterion Collection Removes Paywall From Movies by Black Filmmakers