A white savior movie is a film that portrays white self-sacrifice as necessary to “help” or “fix” a black person’s situation. In a white savior film, black characters are represented as victims who are desperately in need of the help of white people in order to thrive in society. As Chris Rock noted in the movie Top Five: “In any civil rights movie, there’s two heroes. There’s the black hero, and the white person who’s ‘equally’ as important.”
Selected here are five white savior movies you should skip–and what to watch instead.