Thirty years ago this month, Spike Lee’s hit 1989 film, “Do the Right Thing,” helped bring attention to a then emerging generation of black directors in Hollywood. Recently, The New York Times convened a discussion of six filmmakers — Julie Dash, Ernest Dickerson, Leslie Harris, Darnell Martin, Matty Rich and Theodore Witcher — who were at the center of a black film boom that followed, and who lived with the consequences after it went bust.
Here is where to find some of the films that they made, as well as 10 others that defined the era.
Four friends in Harlem (one played by Tupac Shakur) have their lives turned upside down after deciding to rob a convenience store.
“Surviving the Game” (1994)
A homeless man (Ice-T) is hunted for sport by a cabal of bloodthirsty one-percenters.
“Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight” (1995)
In a spinoff of the horror anthology series, an evil demon played by Billy Zane pursues a war veteran — and the key to limitless power.
Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans star in this buddy comedy about an undercover cop and a small-time thief who get stuck together on a cross-country road trip.
Snoop Dogg stars as a vengeful ghost who returns to his neighborhood 20 years after his murder.
“I Like it Like That” (1994)
One hot summer in the Bronx, a husband and wife struggle to keep their family together after he gets arrested and she gets a new job.
“Prison Song” (2001)
A hip-hop opera about the prison system, and those it ensnares, starring Q-Tip and Mary J. Blige, in her first film role.
“Cadillac Records” (2008)
The story of rock ‘n’ roll as pioneered by the artists of Chess Records, starring Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters and Beyoncé as Etta James.