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Hi Mom (1970)

Robert DeNiro in "Hi Mom"

By Adam Thomas

Friday September 30, 2005

Directed by Brian DePalma

De Palma’s first film features Robert De Niro and is an irreverent and funny look at media voyeurism and the complexity of modern society. The greatest moment of the film, and the real reason to watch it is the part when De Niro joins an urban guerilla theatre troupe and plays the role of a policeman. During this sequence, rich, white bourgeois intellectuals and socialites come to see a play titled “Be Black Baby” which offers audiences a unique opportunity of the Black Experience. Shot in documentary television style the sequence is as political as De Palma ever gets and is a biting and savage attack on the social and cultural rift that existed between the comfortable white middle class and everyone else. The play’s audience is fed, or rather forced to eat, “traditional” African American food and then is made to wear black face as they are robbed, insulted and assaulted in a manner that parallels the treatment of the black community at the hands of the white establishment in the 1960’s.