JAMAA FANAKA - ONE OF THE GREATEST FILM MAKERS NO ONE TALKS ABOUT!!
Yo” Nini Kinaendelea Everybody (What’s Happening Everybody in Swahili) and to everyone new to the blog you are welcome to explore a piece of my literary madness from the door. Now to all of you doomsday preppers do not stop storing food and water because the killer virus called COVID-19 is still not done with our ass with new mutations. The Russians are Jacking gas and locking up people’s computers with ransomware and a few hospitals as well. Trump is still plotting on taking over the world from his Mar-a-Lago compound like a mad scientist and the end is near. Sounds like some kind of crazy movie plot but its actual life in 2021. Who ever said life is stranger than fiction would never believe all this bullshit.
Now that I told you all that madness going down, I like to give some shout outs to all my blog Divas, blog homies and a special shout out to all my megalomaniacs from around the globe that are out of control. Now it's time for me to drop it on y’all head like an anvil from on top of the Empire State Building. I hate the term Blaxploitation movies because all action movies are exploitation. It's just when it has a Black cast, they put the label on it as Blaxploitation. Is the Godfather called an Italian exploitation movie? No. And still today Black hero’s male or female are few and in between in the cold Hollywood blockbuster error.
I am not stuck in the 1970s but all the political movements, films, music and style of the 70s I just love. I was a lucky ass to have experienced some of it because it stays with your soul forever. You might have heard of one of the great Black filmmakers, Jamaa Fanaka. You might not know who he is, but you know his movies. Like Penitentiary (1979) and Penitentiary Two (1982). Jamaa Fanaka was born with his government name Walter Gordon in Jackson, Mississippi in 1942. In 1971 they accepted Jamaa Fanaka into the film school at UCLA. His first film was a powerful statement called A Day in the Life of Willie Faust or the Death on the Installment Plan. It is a short film about a heroin addict. During film school Fanaka wrote, produced and directed Emma Mae (1974) I love this movie every activist needs to see this film.
It's about a young woman coming from Mississippi after her mother dies and she survives the Culture shock of Los Angeles she gets involved with a Black movement. Welcome Home Brother Charles aka Soul Vengeance (1975) this is a strange horror movie. I love this movie as well you gotta see this shit it's crazy, and it was funny to me. It is about a brother named Charles who is a small-time drug dealer and player who is railroad to jail by some racist ass cops and judge who is down with it as well. Charles does three years in prison and comes out.
Charles has some special powers when he gets out of jail that makes his manhood grow to the size of an anaconda. The plot twist he strangles and kills the dirty cops and the judge with his super-size Johnson (Dick) who sends him to jail in the first place. Yes, the first killer penis movie I was cracking up after I saw this movie now, I want to make one myself.
Penitentiary (1979) It is about a young Black man that is wrongly accused for something he did not do, and he goes to prison after fighting off the thugs who wanted to make them their sissy. He kicks a lot of asses and enters a boxing contest. The warden and his brother-in-law are putting on at the prison. I saw this in the movies when it came out in the theater. It was filled with people yelling at the screen and loved every minute of it too. Penitentiary Two, It's about the same time he gets out of prison and he has to go back to prison after he gets set up. Street Wars (1992) It's about a young Black King pen who gets killed and his brother takes over the gang. They do hits with little flying vehicles never getting caught. I saw this on DVD now you can see it for free on YouTube. I like it because it's original. I have never seen a movie like that before. Sadly, Jamaa Fanaka is no longer with us; he passed away at the age of 69 on April 1, 2012.
All of Jamaa Fanaka movies always have realness of the Black experience humor and very good story lines that grab you from the jump. I tell people all the time you don’t need one hundred million dollars to tell a good story. Jamaa Fanaka is the one of the great Black filmmakers nobody talks about or does not even know about. To me that is a Gawd damn shame only real film buffs and people from that time knew about his greatness. He is the filmmaker of the L.A. Rebellion and the hip hop world as well. Go on YouTube where you’ll see Snoop Dogg give him his proper face to face. So, I'm recommending you sit back one Saturday afternoon or night whatever floats your boat, get your groove on and pop in one of his films. You will surely be entertained. And please hit me up on my DM and let me know what you think. And to all of you up-and-coming filmmakers (Like myself) go check out his movies before you go out and make yours. i promise it will fill you with inspiration and pride once you see one of his films. And his legacy will live on forever on film for the world to enjoy and talk about for years to come.
My name is Dartanya A. Williams Sr. I am a crime writer and blog writing provocateur. Dartanyaawilliamssr.com