Black Like Me
Watermelon Man (dir. Melvin Van Peebles) for an actual fact.
“I want to find out what it’s like to be a Negro in the South.”
Lerner has a main resource springing from Intruder in the Dust (dir. Clarence Brown), authoritative location cinematography of the finest that later serves Abby Mann covering the same ground in King.
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, “takes on the complexion of a deliberate sensation-seeking trick.” Dave Kehr (Chicago Reader), “it sounds like an intriguing antique.” TV Guide, “exploitation”. Hal Erickson (Rovi), “a worthwhile effort.”
“You think it’s easy bein’ colored?” Zoltan Korda’s Cry, the Beloved Country is also invaluable as a basis. Stuart Rosenberg’s WUSA owes something to these peregrinations. The impromptu dinner of cold chicken reappears in John Boorman’s Deliverance, with implications for Richard A. Colla’s The UFO Incident and Jonathan Demme’s Beloved.
“If we was to hate de white man, den we’d be dragged down to his level, and our race would be ruined for sure,” a lesson from the Bible (cf. Clarence Muse & Langston Hughes’ Way Down South, dir. Bernard Vorhaus).