Streaming services from Criterion Channel and Cineplex’s video-on-demand have lifted paywalls on films that focus on Black lives. Modern hits such as Jordan Peele’s Us, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, and groundbreaking indie classics like Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and Kathleen Collins’s Losing Ground are all available to stream for free.
“We’ve met as a company and a community to talk openly about the work we need to do to build a better, more equitable, more diverse Criterion, beginning with education and training for our ownership and our staff,” the company said in a statement. “We are also committed to examining the role we play in the idea of canon formation, whose voices get elevated, and who gets to decide what stories get told.”
Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/aRwDVjuI0O
— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) June 4, 2020
Criterion also announced a new fund that will go to “fighting racism in America, including bail funds, community organizations, legal defense funds and advocacy groups that address police reform.”
Both Criterion and Cineplex’s free offerings include films by Black filmmakers, as well as films from white directors that focus on Black lives.
In a time when many are turning to movies to become informed and empowered, we want to help.
Our ‘Understanding Black Stories’ collection was curated to elevate Black filmmakers. These films are available to view at no cost on the Cineplex Store. https://t.co/y4Ifp12o8n pic.twitter.com/4TmqtaZugn
— Cineplex (@CineplexMovies) June 5, 2020