Dear Trying To Understand,
Your roommate is right. Those would not fall into the “Black Cinema” category. At least, not in my consideration. “Black Cinema” to me are the stories about being African-American. Movies or films that star black actors are not necessarily about the black experience. And not all “Black Cinema” has to be directed by black directors….as long as they tell of the black experience.
A good example of “Black Cinema” directed by a non-black director is “The Color Purple”. Steven Spielberg brought Alice Walker’s book to life. Whoopi Goldberg deserved an Oscar for her performance but it is believed her win for “Ghost” was a makeup Oscar.
And of course, any documentary or biopic about artists and musicians that changed the landscape of entertainment definitely are “Black Cinema”. These are films and programs that teach us and our youth of the contributions of African-Americans. Now, some will argue that Black History should include all black people, but like many things that were created in the United States, Black History Month is a creation of black people in America. It wouldn’t make sense in Africa or South America. Jazz, Hip Hop, Blaxploitation films, etc….all came from black people in America. It was their suffering and pain that went into creating these art forms.
So, I hope that answers why for you.