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MASTER (2022, USA) – 6/10

Here is another quasi-horror about the trauma of African Americans and systematic racism disguised as horror. Debutante Mariame Diallo’s film is over in Sundance, but this story about three black women haunted by real and / or imaginary ghosts at an elite university in the Northeast of America has not fully worked. Gail Bishop (Regina Hall) has just become the first African-American dean of the University of Ancaster in New England, a university that students believe is damned because a woman accused of witchcraft was once burned at the stake. Jasmine Moore (Zoe Renee) is a freshman who happens to be accommodated in a room in the dormitory where the first African-American college student once lived, a girl who hung herself in that room thirty years earlier.

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The third black woman is Professor Liv Beckman (Amber Gray), the best friend of the new dean who will get into a conflict with Jasmine after she is convinced that she deliberately took her on a spade. Immediately after moving in, Jasmine will start experiencing nightmares and will start believing that there really is a spirit at the university that has started to follow her, and for Liv who is waiting to be promoted, the problem could be the official remark of probably the only black student. Although “Master” is nominally a horror, there aren’t too many horror moments and situations, and it was another not overly successful attempt to ride on the theme of black trauma and the “Get Out” wave. Maybe the idea was interesting, but it remained completely unclear to me what is the meaning and point of this film about the haunted room, the haunted university, real and symbolic ghosts that haunt black women at an almost completely white university.

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