There’s strong buzz on writer/director Tanya Hamilton’s film as it heads into select theaters starting Friday. It was an official selection at Sundance, New Directors/New Films and was recently nominated for Best First Feature in the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards. What’s it about? Check this out:
In 1976, after years of mysterious absence, Marcus (Anthony Mackie, “The Hurt Locker”) returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement. While his arrival raises suspicion among his family and former neighbors, he finds acceptance from his old friend Patricia (Kerry Washington, “Ray,” “Lift”) and her daughter. However, Marcus quickly finds himself at odds with the organization he once embraced, whose members suspect he orchestrated the slaying of their former comrade-in-arms. In a startling sequence of events, Marcus must protect a secret that could shatter everyone’s beliefs as he rediscovers his forbidden passion for Patricia.
Here’s a discussion with the writer/director Tanya Hamilton. She talks about the film’s journey, her vision, the process of filmmaking, and the need for audience development. In fact, in regards to exceptional films about black life such as Medicine For Melancholy or Love & Basketball, she says:
The infrequent nature of it [institutional support of progressive black films] doesn’t help to grow anything. It is a rare occurrence to see African Americans looked at in a varied, complicated and layered way.
The film is having a staggered theatrical release according to the following schedule:
Cherry Hill, NJ: Cherry Hill 24
New York, NY: Magic Johnson Harlem USA 9
New York, NY: Cinema Village
Philadelphia, PA: Ritz 5 Movies
San Francisco, CA: Lumiere Theatre 3
Santa Monica, CA: Monica 4 Plex
Chicago, IL: Chatham 14
Birmingham, MI: Palladium 12
Detroit, MI: Renaissance Theatre 4
Washington, DC: West End Cinema
St. Croix, VI: Sunny Isles Theatre
Good news for those not near any of the above cities: The film can be seen on-demand now through the end of December.
However you see it, please support!