In this special edition of Dinner / Movie, we wanted to celebrate Black films, filmmakers, and local Black businesses. These are just a few of our favorites.

Dinner/Movie selections are curated by Quentin Norris, a graduate of UNCSA School of Filmmaking. He writes short fiction and essays about movies here.

Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream

Film: Body and Soul

Where To Stream: The Criterion Channel

Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream was founded by inventors and dreamers with a vision and has been going strong since 1945. Just like the visionaries who started Zesto, Oscar Micheaux was an innovator who paved the way for Black filmmakers to come. His early silent work is both phenomenal and under-watched. While biting into a famous Zesto burger, pair it with one of Micheaux’s most important works, Body and Soul, starring Paul Robeson as a malevolent minister who hides behind a facade of righteousness while exploiting a small town that depends on him.

 

Ackingna’s Place

Film: Losing Ground

Where To Stream: The Criterion Channel

In 1982, Kathleen Collins wrote and directed this semiautobiographical film starring Seret Scott, Bill Gunn (The director of Ganja & Hess), and Duane Jones (The star of Night of the Living Dead) about a college professor coming to a crossroad in her life while her marriage to a recently successful painter begins to deteriorate. The film won first prize at the Figueroa International Film Festival but was never given a theatrical release and was only discovered after Collins passed in 2015. Like Losing Ground, Ackingna’s Place is a small, undiscovered gem of Winston-Salem, just waiting to be discovered by new patrons.

 

Mary Jay’s Southern Soul Eatery

Film: Eve’s Bayou

Where To Stream: HBOMax

The atmosphere of Kasi Lemmons’ directorial debut is so powerful that the sights, sounds, and smells of the Creole-American town of Eve’s Bayou will feel absolutely real and you’ll think you’re really there. You’ll want to tuck into some of Mary Jay’s Southern Soul food while experiencing this masterpiece of heartfelt, southern gothic melodrama.

 

Hot Dog City

Film: Hollywood Shuffle

Where To Stream: Amazon Prime & The Criterion Channel

In this 1987 hilarious and scathing satire of Hollywood’s double standards toward black actors and filmmakers, Robert Townsend plays a struggling actor who has to balance his time auditioning with his day job at Winky Dinky Dogs. The scenes at Winky Dinky Dogs are going to give you a craving for a great hot dog, so why not pair your screening with the best in town from Hot Dog City?

 

Meta’s Restaurant

Film: Malcolm X

Where To Stream: Netflix

Spike Lee’s passionate, moving biopic of the larger-than-life figure of Malcolm X portrayed by Denzel Washington in a jaw-dropping performance excels at fitting an entire lifetime of incredible life experience into three and a half hours without feeling rushed or crammed in. That being said, this is still a film of epic proportions, and you’ll definitely need a full three-course meal while watching, so make sure you’re prepared with a delicious feast from Meta’s Restaurant.

 

Simply Soul Restaurant

Film: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Where To Stream: Peacock

It’s undeniable that the menu at Simply Soul is so good it’s going to make you want to dance. The soundtrack to that dancing can be none other than the music of “The Party of the Decade.” This concert film is an incredible time capsule of early 00s hip hop and a beautiful portrait of a community coming together, lovingly captured by Chappelle and director Michel Gondry.

 

Yeh Mon Caribbean

Film: Babylon

Where To Stream: The Criterion Channel

Yeh Mon Caribbean has the best Jamaican cuisine in town. Such a unique meal deserves to be paired up with an equally important and unique film. Babylon is a 1980 British music film that was originally deemed “too controversial and likely to incite racial tension” at the New York Film Festival. It’s only now available to watch in the United States for the first time.

 

Mo’s Chicken & Grocery 2 Go

Film: To Sleep with Anger

Where To Stream: Showtime

The chicken farm of the central family of To Sleep With Anger is sure to awaken a craving for chicken in you, and Mo’s Chicken and Grocery can provide the cure for that itch. You’ll certainly need something to bite into while watching this tense family drama unfold as Danny Glover turns in a powerhouse performance as a mysterious, chaotic force that tries to drive the family he supposedly cares for apart.

 

Skrimp Shack

Film: Daughters of the Dust

Where To Stream: The Criterion Channel

Daughters of the Dust is a landmark of not only independent filmmaking, but of American film history, as it was the first theatrically released film that was written and directed by a Black woman. The incredibly powerful story of three generations of Gullah women is made even more emotionally moving through the gorgeous Saint Helena Island landscape and beaches. Complete the experience with the seafood cuisine of Skrimp Shack while getting swept away in this magical film.

 

Munch Box

Film: School Daze

Where To Stream: Netflix

In Spike Lee’s highly personal second film, he not only captures the daily coming-of-age struggles of college life but also creates a fascinating portrait of division inside the American Black community through classism, racism, and other prejudices, all while adding his signature visual and cinematic flair through documentary montages and full-fledged musical numbers. When Laurence Fishburne and his friends all pile into a small car together to drive into town for burgers, you’ll want to return to the days of college. Recreate that experience with Munch Box and their incredible burgers and hot dogs.

 

The Peanut House

Film: Fear of a Black Hat

Where To Stream: Peacock

This film is the This Is Spinal Tap for the hardcore 90s rap world. Rusty Cundieff’s hilarious mockumentary is a joke-a-minute as Nina Blackburn (Kasi Lemmons) documents the daily life and actions of the rap group known as N.W.H (Think N.W.A but with hats). Fear of a Black Hat is the perfect popcorn movie, but this time, instead of popcorn, why not chow down on some homecooked peanuts, pistachios, and cashews from Winston’s own Peanut House?

 

Prime Tyme Soul Cafe

Film: Something New

Where To Stream: Peacock

If you’re looking for something new for your tastebuds, then you’re in luck with Prime Tyme Cafe and their authentic menu of soul food that will warm your heart. The same goes for if you’re looking for something new from the romantic comedy genre. Something New is a romantic comedy written, directed by, and starring black women, something revolutionary at the time, and still something that still doesn’t happen enough. So mix it up for both your tastebuds and your funny bone with this pairing.