Heartwarming Films By Black Directors to Watch This Holiday Season


With the holiday season in full swing, now is the perfect time to gather the family for a heart-warming watch.

These five films from Black directors will put you in the holiday spirit. Just add a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy!

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

This Netflix original musical from 2020 tells the tale of toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker), whose most precious toy is stolen by his apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key). Jangle’s granddaughter Journey (Madalen Mills), who possesses a penchant for invention, must rekindle the playful spirit inside of her now-glum grandfather.

The David E. Talbert-directed film, which boasts an 89% fresh critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, includes songs by superstar John Legend, Grammy Award-winner Philip Lawrence, and other big names.

The Black Candle

There is not much out there when it comes to Kwanzaa-related films, outside of holiday specials in children’s shows like “The Proud Family,” “Arthur” and “Rugrats.” Director MK Asante changed that with his 2008 documentary “The Black Candle.”

The film, narrated by beloved poet Maya Angelou, details the evolution of Kwanzaa from its roots in the Black Power Movement to its modern presence as a worldwide celebration.

“The Black Candle” is available to watch on IMDb TV, The Roku Channel and Tubi.

Black Nativity

2013’s “Black Nativity” is the story of Baltimore teenager Langston (Jacob Latimore), who treks to New York City to celebrate Christmas with his estranged family members and gets more than he bargained for.

The musical, from director Kasi Lemmons, is a modernized adaptation of the historic Langston Hughes play of the same name.

Holiday Heart

In this dark family drama from the year 2000, director Robert Townsend tackles the story of a lonely drag queen named Holiday (Ving Rhames) who finds family in the form of a recovering drug addict and her daughter.

The film, which originally aired on Showtime, is now streaming on Tubi.

Boxing Day

This recently released rom-com by first-time director Aml Ameen follows British writer Melvin (Aml Ameen) and his American fiancé Lisa (Aja Naomi King) as they travel to London from the States to visit Melvin’s zany British-Caribbean family for Christmas. When Lisa discovers Melvin’s ex is a world-famous popstar who still keeps in touch with his family, things go off the rails!

The film, notable as the first British rom-com with a majority Black cast, is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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