Helmed by writer-director Mike Binder (‘Reign Over Me’), ‘Black or White’ is an independent drama that chronicles the life of an elderly widower with a drinking problem as he struggles to win a legal battle over the custody of his biracial granddaughter. With critically acclaimed faces such as Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer in prominent roles, the film attempts to deal with timeless issues such as addiction, racial tension, and familial grief. As racial intersectionality is one of the main themes of the film, the director decided to choose a location with a history of racial oppression. Now, if you are wondering where the film was shot, we have got your back.
Black or White Filming Locations
The film was almost entirely shot in the US, specifically in the state of Louisiana. After thorough scouting of prospective locations, the principal shooting of the film was set in motion on July 15, 2013, and was concluded by the end of August of the same year. Let us now take you to the specific locations where the film has been shot.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The film was almost exclusively shot at different interior locations in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. As per the narrative of the film, the city is the hometown of Kevin Costner’s character Elliott Anderson. One major location of the city that is shown in the film is the Metairie Park Country Day School, which is renamed Levy Preparatory School in the film. In the universe of ‘Black or White,’ it is the school where Elliott’s granddaughter Eloise, the central character around whom the narrative revolves, is enrolled.
Louisiana, which is known to be ‘Hollywood South’, has attracted many directors due to the state’s cultural heritage, lush greenery, and lucrative tax credits. Louisiana has been the setting for several critically acclaimed films that speak of the racial disjuncture in the heart of the American society, including ‘Django Unchained’ and ’12 Years a Slave.’
Once home to more than 300 thousand enslaved African-Americans working in various plantation estates that were scattered all over Louisiana, now it fosters a strong community sentiment among the African-Americans. However, in this familial drama, intersectionality plays a key role, muddying traditional black/white notions of justice with a tinge of shadow grey.
As an independent film with a tight schedule, ‘Black or White’ does not explore many locations outside the city of New Orleans. However, parts of the sequence where Elliott visits Rowena’s house were shot in Gardena, California. Located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, the city is known for its popular freeways and railroads. Owing to the large-scale production of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, it was once referred to as the “berry capital of Southern California.”
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