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Exclusive: Justice Smith and Filmmaker Kobi Libii Shares Why It Was Important To Combine Comedy, Magic and Romance to a Race Film Such As 'The American Society of Magical Negroes'
'The American Society of Magical Negroes'

Exclusive: Justice Smith and Filmmaker Kobi Libii Shares Why It Was Important To Combine Comedy, Magic and Romance in a Race Film Such As ‘The American Society of Magical Negroes’ [Video]

The American Society of Magical Negroes,” premiering in theaters on March 15, is a fantasy-filled comedy that blends cultural messaging with romance and a touch of magic. The film’s primary aim is to highlight the frequent instances where black individuals go the extra mile to ensure the comfort of white people.

“The things that black people have to do to survive in America are absolutely fantastic. To me, the magical realism are a reflection of that, and the comedy is just because the subject matter is really difficult. Comedy helps me look at that and feel ok about it,” said writer and producer Kobi Libii.

Romance plays a significant role in the movie, as Justice Smith is compelled to pair the girl he’s falling for with the assigned white guy, ensuring his constant happiness.

Libii shared why it was important to include the romantic element in the film to bring it to life.

“The love story to me is imagining a world where people look at you like you’re your full self instead of a stereotype, and that’s what I feel like when somebody who loves me looks at me, and I hope a little bit of that feeling gets passed on to all of us who watches the film.

As Smith’s character battles with matters of love, the film also delves into the dynamics of race and his interactions with white counterparts, mirroring his real-life experiences, according to Smith.

“I grew up in a very white environment. I know these defense mechanisms, I know what it’s like to placate in order to survive and I always wanted to do a movie about race but I wanted to have a connection to the experience to the film. I was like, this is me, I see my self in this and I experienced so much catharsis shooting it and I learned so much about myself and how I move throughout the world,” said Smith.

The film features additional well-known personalities, each contributing a unique magic touch. Nicole Byer takes on the role of the society’s head, infusing a feisty and comedic presence. Aisha Hinds assumes the role of the lead professor, guiding the newcomers through the intricacies. David Alan Grier portrays Smith’s mentor, recognizing his true self and expressing confidence in his inclusion into society.

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Keytron Hill

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