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Jonita Davis is a writer, film critic, and professor. She’s a member of NABJ, AAFCA, a Rotten Tomatoes critic, and an adjunct professor.
‘In the Heights’ set piece at the Drive and Drag event in Chicago.

In the Heights depicts the Latin community of Washington Heights in New York City. I am personally proud that is it releasing at a time when so many people can enjoy this musical look into the culture. Much of this country is still made of spaces where the only brown faces are those of over-tanned farmers. These communities of white people go generations without having Black and Brown people in them to interact.

How do they learn about cultures? From tv and film. That’s why In the Heights is more than appropriate for school districts where there are less…


It is always a pleasure to talk to the people who work, hands-on, with the narrative of a series or film. Oscar-nominated editor Joi McMillon is one of the best in this business. Her work on Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad and Janicza Bravo’s Zola helped two very different narratives center two Black women at a time when Hollywood is having trouble seeing us. (See more in “Army of the Dead and Hollywood Have a Black Woman Problem”) McMillon says that, despite the time period and topical differences, editing the two stories did uncover some important commonalities. …


Hollywood has a diversity problem. It’s not the one the industry attempts to tackle every time a “race” issue crops up. On the surface, the job is getting done. Like marketing teams scrambling to make sure that there are black and brown faces in the background crowds and on the film posters. I’ll admit that an impressive amount of melanin graces screens everywhere in every theater these days.

I am here for it.

Films released in 2021, no matter what the genre may be, have a range of skin tones and even genders. Army of the Dead delivers in this…


When my mother “found Jesus,” she changed in more than just her social habits and attire. Somehow, the church had convinced her that we, her children, were the source of her oppression.

Trey and I were especially proof of her sins as we were born out of “the bonds of marriage” and to two different men. Never mind that my father was the same man who spawned her younger three children. And, it also didn’t matter that she was closest to the two of us because we became the helpers she depended on after the divorce. …


After screening the film The Killing of Two Lovers at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, I had a few questions for composer Peter Albrechtsen. In my review of the film (here), I noted how the “sound” of the film seemed as much character as David and Nikki, the troubled couple played by Clayne Crawford and Sepidah Moafi. According to Peter, the sound was “designed” to be noticed. He proceeded to how the “sound” of the film contributed to the story and so much more.

Here’s the interview a year later, edited and abridged for brevity and timeliness.

Why did you…


Executive Order premiered at SXSW 2021, a debut film for director Lazaro Ramos. However, it was not his first time on a set. Ramos has an extensive filmography as an actor in film and the theater. I had a chat with Ramos about his film, his career, and what it means to be a black creator these days.

“This is my first movie as a director. I’m an actor from, since I was 10 years old. And [Executive Order] is my first step behind the cameras. I wanted to make a movie to touch the people.”

Sharing Stories of His Brazil

He talked about his…


It happened in January with Krystina Arielle, host of the Star Wars podcast. At some point, she rubbed someone in the Star Wars fandom the wrong way. To get back at her, they combed Arielle’s Twitter feed for the perfect post. Upon finding it, the person screenshot and reposted a simple misreading of Arielle’s post that should have been easy to clear up. Instead, it opened a Pandora’s box of trolls that were only tamed when the official Star Wars account spoke out against the behavior. Even then, it was a while before the controversy died down.

Arielle was the…


This spring, the news is stuck on immigration reform, minimum wage hikes, and stimulating the economy by depositing cash in the bank accounts of millions of Americans. The goal is to help the working class, immigrants, and people who often find themselves at the mercy of not only poverty. They are often the most preyed upon populations in the banking sector as well. In fact, millions of people will be receiving their stimulus funds in the form of a check. This is where the problems begin, where the banking industry gets their claws in on the biggest legal scheme in…


Zack Snyder’s Justice League does offer plenty of diversity and inclusion. The film casts characters in a range of ethnicities, skin tones, and body types. When Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) appeared on my screen the first time, I understood that the film is also inclusive in mental health as well. When Barry appeared, talking quickly, easily distracted, and filled with unnecessary factoids that he keeps slipping into the conversation, it was apparent that he was possibly on the the spectrum.

What Does “On the Spectrum” Mean Autism?

The first thing that neurotypical or “normal” people hear when you say “on the spectrum,” is “autism”. While it is…


This past weekend, director/actor/producer/writer Kevin Smith continued his support of the Snyder Cut of the Justice League movie. This comes after weeks of headlines using words like “propaganda” and talk of invasion to describe the fan efforts to advertise #ReleasetheSnyderCut at San Diego Comic-Con last month. Smith recently validated the movement and added more support in his interview on the CinaBlend podcast. There, he explained that the Snyder cut does exist and he believes it should be released. Listen in for more details.

The people who make up the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement are misunderstood groups of DC fans who are often…

Jonita Davis

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