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Criterion Collection stream movies by black filmmakers for free

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Streaming service The Criterion Collection has begun streaming a number of acclaimed films by black filmmakers for free.

“Dear Criterion community,” the service began in a statement posted to Twitter. “This has been a powerfully emotional time.

“The disproportionate toll that COVID-19 has taken on communities of colour; the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade; and the casually lethal racism of the Central Park dog walker who called for the cops on bird-watcher Christian Cooper have once again thrown into sharp focus the inescapable reality of systematic racism in our society and the many kinds of violence it inflicts on black Americans every day.”

The message continues: “Black Lives Matter. The anguish and fury unleashed all across the country are rooted in the centuries of dehumanisation and death. This pattern must stop. We support the protesters who have taken to the streets to demand justice, and we share their hopes. We are committed to fighting systemic racism.

“We’ve met as a company and a community to talk openly about the work we need to do to build a better, more equitable, more diverse Criterion, beginning with education and training for our ownership and our staff. We are also committed to examine the role we play in the idea of canon formation, whose voices get elevated, and who get to decide what stories get told.”

The movies on offer feature acclaimed pictures that explore black lives, including Maya Angelou’s Down In The Delta, Julie Dash’s Daughters Of The Dust, Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman and Charles Burnett’s My Brother’s Wedding.

Also available to stream for free are documentaries including Agnès Varda’s Black Panthers and Les Blank’s A Life Well Spent.

All the films can be viewed for free here.

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