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Dear White People (2014)

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The lives of four black students at an Ivy League college.


Justin Simien


Justin Simien (screenplay)
14 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyler James Williams ... Lionel Higgins
Tessa Thompson ... Samantha White
Kyle Gallner ... Kurt Fletcher
Teyonah Parris ... Colandrea 'Coco' Conners
Brandon P Bell ... Troy Fairbanks
Brittany Curran ... Sofia Fletcher
Justin Dobies ... Gabe
Marque Richardson ... Reggie
Malcolm Barrett ... Helmut West
Dennis Haysbert ... Dean Fairbanks
Peter Syvertsen ... President Fletcher
Brandon Alter ... George
Kate Gaulke ... Annie (as Katie Gaulke)
Brian James Brian James ... Martin
Keith Myers ... Mitch


A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A satire about being a black face in a white place


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

4 December 2014 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Cara Gente Branca See more »

Filming Locations:

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$347,959, 17 October 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,404,154, 25 January 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Sam makes a student film that is critical of what she sees as white people's widespread fear of Barack Obama and titles it "Rebirth of a Nation." This is a reference not only to D.W. Griffith's notoriously racist 1915 Civil War movie The Birth of a Nation (1915) but also to something that filmmaker Spike Lee experienced while he was a first-year student at NYU's graduate film school. After being required to watch Griffith's film and objecting to the fact that his professors taught it only as a milestone in the technical development of cinema with no attention paid to its racism and its legacy of helping to relaunch the KKK, Lee made a student short film titled The Answer (1980) that responded to The Birth of a Nation himself. "The Answer" so offended many of his NYU professors that Lee was nearly expelled from NYU, but was ultimately saved by a faculty vote. See more »


When Sam is in the dining hall and chastises Kurt for eating in their dining hall - just before she stands up; she closes her Macbook twice. See more »


Sam White: You're trying to frighten me, but I think you're the one who's scared.
President Fletcher: And I think you long for days when blacks were hanging from trees and denied actual rights that way you'd have something to actually fight against.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits include photographs of the real-life blackface (and brownface) college parties that inspired the film's climax. See more »


References Coming to America (1988) See more »


Linger Awhile
Composed by Marian McPartland
Courtesy of KPM APM
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User Reviews

At Least Say Something
24 June 2016 | by arseniySee all my reviews

Some thoughts:

(1) The filmmakers do far too much hiding of their own opinions in the various opinions presented here.

(2) I bet however, that they do believe things like "black people can't be racist". Exposing the ever-self-serving corresponding absurdity, being as simple as looking up the word "racist" in the damn dictionary. Instead of putting up a highly-specialized/strawman definition, only to pretend that it's THE definition.

(3) There are actual slaves in the world. Right now. Millions of them. Moreover, even in the US, there is both very real slavery and very real racism. Not dumb college kids responding to faux-civil-rights-crusader bait and wearing some dumb costumes at some dumb private party. No. People are actually being forced away from their health and freedom based on race and class - in the US - as we speak. Black people, brown people, Asian people, even white people (see: Eastern European sex trafficking), etc. Exceedingly few of these grim realities, have very much to do at all - with what's depicted here. And if one is really concerned about such matters - one would find a way to reflect (at least SOME of) them in one's film. If however, one is selfishly concerned instead with the minutiae of one's own exceedingly-privileged (by world and even US standards) existence, while wanting to disguise oneself as a hard-issue-tackler - one would make a film just like this.

(4) And if burying one's head this far up one's own rectum is an absolute must - I'd at least ask that there's a clear corresponding point. Which brings us back to (1) above.

(5) Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but when people pretend to care about higher ideals, while their efforts are all too obviously aimed instead at merely serving themselves - I have trouble seeing anything else. Whether it's Fox News with their constant cry-bullying. Or what madness Nazi atrocities and such have been used to justify in the middle East. Or such, admittedly-milder, yet all-too-similar cases.

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