Spike Lee’s satirical black comedy “Bamboozled” and Gina Prince-Bythewood’s romantic sports drama “Love & Basketball” have been selected for preservation in the Library of Congress National Film Registry’s 2023 class. This recognition is granted to movies deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant for the preservation of the nation’s film heritage.
“Bamboozled,” directed by Spike Lee, featured a cast including Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tommy Davidson, Michael Rapaport, Mos Def, and Paul Mooney. The film explores the controversial theme of blackface in the entertainment industry and gained cultural relevance over the years despite initially receiving mixed reviews.
In discussing “Bamboozled,” Spike Lee highlighted the closing scenes of the film, depicting the historical use of blackface by white performers such as Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, and Eddie Cantor, showcasing the debasement of African American identity.
“Love & Basketball,” directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is a romantic sports drama starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. The film received positive reviews upon its release and is hailed for its portrayal of Black love, autobiographical elements, and its impact on the representation of love stories featuring Black characters.
Gina Prince-Bythewood expressed her initial discouragement at the lack of Black love stories and her desire to see herself in such narratives. “Love & Basketball” marked a significant moment in her career and set the tone for her subsequent work.
Both films now join the esteemed list of movies preserved in the Library of Congress National Film Registry, recognized for their contribution to American cinematic heritage.