Dear White People is not a satire about race. It's a satire about race, sexuality, culture, popularity, fame, higher learning, power and even college satirists.
Now, courtesy of Roadside Attractions, we can read Justin Simien's script to see how he crafted his heightened visuals and carefully chosen words on the page for his 2014 Sundance Breakthrough Talent Award winning film.
What I appreciated most about Dear White Peoplewas Simien's conviction to make bold choices as a filmmaker in terms of his story, themes and visuals. Nothing was safe from satire in this film, which, for me, also afforded Simien the ability to take risks in how he told his story. And taking risks means a single line can strike a major chord while other moments may not quite land with the intended impact. On the whole, though, Dear White People not only provokes its characters, but also the audience in ways that leave you thinking about the film and your own convictions for days after watching the film.
Here's the link to the screenplay, thanks to Roadside Attractions: