With its huge generational library of films, it makes sense that Criterion would have the resources to provide awareness to the works of black filmmakers. Fortunately, audiences can have access to these films right now as Criterion removed the paywall for streaming on classic black cinema.
Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/aRwDVjuI0O
— Criterion Collection (@Criterion) June 4, 2020
Criterion made the announcement through their Twitter page as a support of the Black Lives Matter protests. They are using this opportunity to highlights films focusing on black lives without the need to subscribe to their service, which include Body and Soul by Oscar Micheaux, Black Panthers by Agnes Varda, Daughters of Dust by Julie Dash and Down in the Delta by Maya Angelou, just to name a few. These and the works of many other black filmmakers that focus on black lives are now easily accessible with just a click of the button.
While Criterion is not as popular as Disney+ or HBO Max, their legacy of film distribution and restoration remains influential to the world of cinema. The fact that they’re providing an opportunity for movie watchers to be more aware of the black experience displays a huge amount of support, since they know how to bring exposure to films with significant merit and artistic integrity. Criterion will also be donating $25,000 to anti-racism organizations and continue to support them by donating $5,000 monthly, showing how much they want to make a difference in this world.