June 13, 2024

AAFCA names ‘The Harder They Fall’ as best film of the year



As awards season begins to pick up steam, film associations are releasing their annual lists of the best movies of the year. This year, the African American Film Critics Association named The Harder They Fall as its top film of the year, in a list that includes King Richard, Passing and more.

Since 2003, the AAFCA, which includes some of the top Black film and TV critics in the world, has focused on stories that center the Black experience made by storytellers from around the African diaspora.

Per the AAFCA, their primary mission is to “cultivate understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contributions of African descended talent to cinematic and television culture – from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined breakthroughs of future generations.”

Jonathan Majors and Zazie Beetz in “The Harder They Fall” (David Lee/Netflix)

As theGrio previously reported, Netflix’s The Harder They Fall was one of the biggest movies of the year. The Western focuses on fictionalized versions of real-life figures that were an instrumental part of Black history. Directed by Jeymes Samuel, The Harder They Fall boasts an impressive cast, including Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors, Regina King, Zazie Beetz, and LaKeith Stanfield.

AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson shared in a statement, “Selections for this year’s Top 10 speak to history’s importance in informing who we are, as a people and as a community.”

Robertson continued, “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.”

King Richard thegrio.com
Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal, Tim White, Trevor White, Zach Baylin, Isha Price and Jon Mone at the UK premiere of “King Richard” on Nov. 17, 2021 in London. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

The list also recognizes some of the year’s biggest biopics. The recently released King Richard is at number two, following the life of Richard Williams in the early days of Venus and Serena Williams‘ professional careers. Closely following is Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, showcasing the Oscar-winner as Aretha Franklin.

Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington in “Respect.” (Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert)

“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,” Robertson shared. “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.”

“Obviously not enough can be said about Ms. Aretha Franklin who shaped and transformed the world through her music,” Robertson added. “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.”

Check out the full list of the AAFCA’s top 10 films below:

  1. The Harder They Fall
  2. King Richard
  3. Respect 
  4. The Tragedy of Macbeth 
  5. Passing 
  6. Belfast 
  7. Who We Are 
  8. House of Gucci
  9. The Power of the Dog
  10. West Side Story

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