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420 Ratings


Directed by Spike Lee
United States, 2000
Drama, Comedy, Music


A frustrated African American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.

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Bamboozled Directed by Spike Lee

Awards & Festivals

National Board of Review

2000 | Winner: Freedom of Expression Award

Black Reel Awards

2001 | 7 nominations including: Theatrical - Best Actress

Even if I find it irritating that Lee has to shovel in so much of A Face in the Crowd (which I still halfway like for its liberal hysteria) and Network (which I still detest for its right-wing hysteria) rather than trust entirely in his own vision and strategies, I can only applaud his idea of absorbing and replicating the language of the enemy in order to understand it better.
July 02, 2020
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The exuberant performances of the show’s stars—a comedian (Tommy Davidson) and a tap dancer (Savion Glover), whom Pierre has plucked off the streets—bring out Lee’s potent theatrical paradox. The pleasure of mocking stereotypes risks perpetuating them, which is why comedy—as embodied by the old-school comedians Junebug (Paul Mooney) and Honeycutt (Thomas Jefferson Byrd)—is, in Lee’s view, a high and serious calling.
October 26, 2015
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Over subsequent re-viewings, I have come to believe that Bamboozled is in fact the central work in Lee’s canon—the house on fire to which all roads lead. It features some of the rawest and most successful expressions of his enduring obsessions as a filmmaker, including: his investigations into “blackness” as an identity.
October 20, 2015
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