Dear White People is no love letter, but it’s also not a poison-pen missive.

Rather, it’s a clever, provocative and incisive social satire, with a particularly catchy title (*** out of four; rated R; opens Friday in select cities). The film takes a clear-eyed approach to the complex subject of racial identity and leavens it with wit.

The story focuses on four black students at an elite, predominantly white college as they navigate the campus culture and establish their personal identities.

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