The African American Film Critics Association said Wednesday that it has selected Netflix’s Western The Harder They Fall, King Richard, Respect, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Passing, Belfast, Who We Are, House of Gucci, The Power of the Dog and West Side Story as the group’s Top 10 films of the year.
The AAFCA will reveal winners at the 13th annual AAFCA Awards on January 17, 2022 in 15 competitive film categories, with an in-person ceremony set for March 2 in Los Angeles.
The Harder They Fall, directed and co-written by Jeymes Samuel and which premiered at this year’s London Film Festival, hit about 600 theaters in October before its debut on the streamer November 3. It was No. 1 across all streamers the week of its debut, according to Nielsen.
“Selections for this year’s Top 10 speak to history’s importance in informing who we are, as a people and as a community,” AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson said today “Although our top film The Harder They Fall from Netflix is a fictionalized Western, it introduced the world to an incredible array of real-life Black cowboys and cowgirls who helped to transform the West, prompting many to discover the prominent role Black people played in that storied chapter of American history that has long been a Hollywood go-to genre.”
Added Robertson: “With Richard Williams in King Richard and Aretha Franklin in Respect, you get an examination of two figures who have left an indelible mark on society and world culture. Mr. Williams, through the cultivation of the talent of his daughters, Venus and Serena, has forever transformed tennis. Their success has become a door-opener by which others can enter a sport that has historically been very closed to them,” Robertson said. “Obviously not enough can be said about Ms. Aretha Franklin who shaped and transformed the world through her music. These films, along with the rest of AAFCA’s Top 10 films of 2021, celebrate culture, history and history-makers. AAFCA is thrilled to recognize their contributions to cinema.”
The AAFCA is made up of journalists covering print, TV, radio broadcast and digital. Last year, it selected eventual Best Picture Oscar nominee Judas and the Black Messiah as its best picture. Its selections this year follow fellow early critics group the New York Film Critics Circle, which voted Japan’s Drive My Car as its film of the year last week.
Here’ the full list of this year’s AAFC winners:
The Harder They Fall
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Who We Are
House of Gucci
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story
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