The Black Godfather (2019)

The Black Godfather is a documentary about Charlie Avant. Based on the introduction to the documentary he was known by almost any celebrity or person of higher class (for example the intro showed interviews with Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, and Barack Obama). For the rest of the intro they did not give too many details about what Charlie Avant did and much rather tried to set a mystical tone over his name by showing him but giving few details.

The intro uses visual elements to help develop his mysterious image that they portray. The use of a ton of photos of celebrities that we know (like Oprah) standing next to this man. This leading to the viewer raising many questions like for example why is he so well known but not really known at all? The creators used a lot of imagery and also used the interviews of the many celebrities to really confuse and interest the viewer. This not only interests the viewer as many people tend to watch or buy things that associate with celebrities they like, however, it also creates a sense of comfort as a title like “The Black Godfather” could be misleading because of the well known series “The Godfather.”

They also used the comments from the people they interviewed to create this mysterious veil over Clarence Avant. While also hearing the interviews you also hear music playing in the background (“Use Me” by Bill Withers) which plays a kind of subtle tone that fits almost perfectly with the tone of the animation and the comments from the interviews. The colors used for the animation mixed with the music helped create an extremely strong interest in who Clarence Avant was and what this documentary is about. It does a good job of focusing mainly on Clarence, instead of trying to lure you in with strong use of animation. The whole video is calmly mysterious.

With the small amount of animation and words that were used they tended to match with the texture and ambiance that the background was giving off. One small detail that I found interesting is that with all the celebrities and people shown, they did not give out a single name besides Charlie Avant. Together the sound, visual elements, typography, and movement helped to create a curious environment with a calm mood.