It takes cajones to make a movie dealing with race nowadays, but if you're going to do it make sure it's funny. Fortunately, writer/director Kevin Willmott's Destination: Planet Negro is not only laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it uses humor to skillfully explore modern race relations, the civil rights movement, and the lingering question, "Why isn't George Washington Carver on jars of peanut butter"?
Inspired by the campy films of his childhood, Destination: Planet Negro is both a spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies and a biting racial satire. The story begins in the 1930s when the smartest African-Americans on the planet send three intrepid explorers in a rocket ship to find a new home planet for all black people. Instead they end up in modern day America, and are blown away by the progress, or lack thereof, in the civil rights movement.
I had a chance to talk with Willmott about the film; its long production history, how growing up in Junction City, KS gave him his unique perspective on race, and his work with Spike Lee on Chi-Raq. Destination: Planet Negro is available now through VOD. Check out my review here and the interview below!