As protests continue across the U.S., and internationally, against police brutality and systemic racism, many people are turning to books, movies, and television as resources to help better educate themselves on racial injustice. There are a ton of great works to choose from, but one of the best recent films to lay out systemic racism and how it is deeply ingrained in American capitalism is Boots Riley's 2018 dramedy Sorry to Bother You. And luckily, it's a movie that's easy to find, because you can stream Sorry to Bother You on Hulu right now.
One of the terms you are probably hearing a lot right now is "systemic racism," which refers to race-based prejudices that have been built into political and social institutions. Much of the spotlight is currently on systemic racism within the police force following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade at the hands of police officers, but institutional racism is also prevalent in America's political system, education system, health care system, and workforce. In fact, many scholars have noted systemic racism is so closely entwined with American capitalism that the two are inextricable at this point — and this is the argument at the heart of Sorry to Bother You.
Don't be scared off by the weightiness of those concepts, though; Sorry to Bother You is just as funny and weird as it is revolutionary. It's packed with jokes, and includes a number of offbeat, unexpected moments that will keep viewers on their toes, including its massive twist toward the end that is completely unforgettable.
The movie stars Lakeith Stanfield as Cash, a struggling Black man who lands a telemarketing job and finds success by employing his "white voice" while on the phone. A protest is also a central part of the film, making it particularly timely. Cash's fellow workers recruit him in their union and stage a protest against management for better wages and treatment. In the wake of the protest, Cash makes some incredibly alarming discoveries about the company, and the revelations only continue to get more and more unbelievable.
The emphatically anti-capitalist message of Sorry to Bother You comes courtesy of its writer-director, Boots Riley, a rapper and activist who has fiercely opposed capitalism as an organizer and speaker for years. The message of the movie is perfect for anyone who wants to better understand how capitalism and systemic racism go hand-in-hand in America — and it's also perfect for anyone who loves fun, weird movies and dark, sci-fi-esque conspiracies. TBH, you can't go wrong.
Sorry to Bother You is available to stream on Hulu now.