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Hood film

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Title: Hood film  
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Subject: African-American culture, Female buddy film, Political thriller, Romance film, Epic film
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Hood film

Menace II Society (1993) film poster.

Hood film is a film genre originating in the United States, which features aspects of urban African-American culture such as hip hop music, street gangs, racial discrimination, broken families, drug use and trafficking, and the problems of young black men coming of age or struggling amid the relative poverty and violent gang activity within an African American neighborhood. Such films predominantly feature African-American actors.


The prototypical hood films are Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society, whose serious storytelling approach popularized the type. As early as 1996, however, hood films were seen as a stereotype against which black filmmakers constantly struggled to avoid comparison or compartmentalization. The genre has also been parodied with such films as Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.


Several critical essays about the genre were written by Paula J. Massood, now a professor at Brooklyn College. Critic Murray Forman notes that the "spatial logic" of hip-hop culture, with heavy emphasis on place-based identity, locates "black youth urban experience within an environment of continual proximate danger", and this quality defines the hood film.[1] In a 1992 essay in Cineaction, Canadian critic Rinaldo Walcott identified the hood film's primary concerns as issues of masculinity and "(re)gaining manhood for black men".[2]


John Singleton, Mario Van Peebles, Hughes Brothers, and Spike Lee are examples of directors in this genre.

Non-American hood films

A Jamaican film of this genre has been made, such as Shottas. British films of this genre have also been made, such as Shooters, Bullet Boy, Kidulthood, Adulthood, and the parody Anuvahood. The French films La Haine, Ma 6-T va crack-er, Yamakasi, and Banlieue 13 are also examples of this genre.

List of hood films






See also


  1. ^ Murray Forman (2002). The 'Hood Comes First: race, space, and place in rap and hip-hop.  
  2. ^ John McCullough (2006). "Rude and the Representation of Class Relations in Canadian Film". Working on Screen: Representations of the Working Class in Canadian Cinema.  


  • "Menace II Society" - Cineaste review pointing out several aspects of the "hood film" genre
  • Which Way to the Promised Land?: Spike Lee's Clockers and the Legacy of the African American City, Paula J. Massood, African American Review, Summer 2001
  • Lowering the bar: State of black film at the moment, by the Unknown Film Critic; defines hood film as one of three predominant subgenres of African-American film

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