2006 was a good movie year. I haven't seen most of the movies, but the ones I have seen were good. I think Helen Mirren deserved her best actress win. I totally enjoyed The Queen and the droll humour got me all cracked up. I would have liked Blood Diamonds to win something because I thought it was a truly memorable movie and Leonardo Dicaprio and Djimon Honsou were good. Either way, I am particularly pleased by the list of winners this year.
Black actors have not just miraculously gotten better since Denzel Washington won the best actor Oscar in 2001 - the first to be so recognised since Sidney Poitier in 1963. They are just finally working on a more level playing field. I am so happy that Forrest Whittaker won the Oscar, even though I have not yet seen the movie for which he won it - The last King of Scotland.
Now, hopefully the day will come, and soon too, when women of colour(gosh I'm sounding like that cosmetic advert on CNN!) get a truly level field. I fear the battle will be harder - just cos we are women. Anyway, since Halle also won in 2001, I'm believing that other people will be given a chance to play challenging characters. Jennifer Hudson's win makes her a real Dreamgirl! It certainly doesn't get dreamier than that.
I know African-Americans are busy denying Barack Obama is 'black" enough in the American context because his father was African and did not go through slavery. Yet, whatever some people say or think, I still firmly believe that when a black person anywhere in the world breaks a barrier, they have brought all black people around the world one step closer to equality. Their success makes it possibly for us all and our children to believe that all things are indeed possibly for him that both believeth and works hard.
So, I rejoice for the African-Americans who are suceeding in their fields like I rejoiced when Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace prize - in spite of the fact that most Kenyans have an inbuilt - unjustified in my opinion - distrust and dislike for Nigerians( but hey, I'm Nigerian, so maybe that's why I think so).
To other issues, in the last few days, I have seen/read several news reports about the African film industry where Nollywood did not even get a mention. I will be the first to admit that most Nollywood movies are rubbish, but since we all also know that Nollywood is the third largest film industry in the world, I feel that Nollywood deserved a mention. Instead, one was fed with information over the fledging South African move industry. I wonder if they paid for the PR which they got! Nollywood needs to tighten its belt and stop churning out crap - or else no one can complain when its looked over.