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An-Li Bogan on navigating race, identity in The American Society of Magical Negroes [Video]

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Taiwan News

Drawn to clever scripts and challenging characters, Taiwanese Irish actress An-Li Bogan landed her first feature film role in writer, director and producer Kobi Libii’s satirical comedy “The American Society of Magical Negroes.”

The film, distributed by Focus Features and Universal Pictures, delves into the problematic nature of the “Magical Negro” trope in American cinema of the 2oth century. This trope, first coined by filmmaker Spike Lee, depicts Black supporting characters whose sole purpose is to serve the storylines of white protagonists. Libii explores the symbolism of this trope and questions the societal values that prioritize white comfort over the autonomy and worth of Black lives. He brings to life a world where being a Magical Negro is an actual job, using humor as a tool to engage audiences in difficult conversations. 

“The American Society of Magical Negroes” follows a young man named Aren (Justice Smith), who is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people dedicating their …

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