Black Cinema Shines

Esai Morales and Judy Reyes

Sundance Selection 2011 - Gun Hill Road

Black Movie. Urban Movie. “Ethnic” Movie. The thought, let alone the actual words, stirs up so much drama and controversy. CC doesn’t necessarily care about “mainstream”. No, I am more interested in a steady stream…

So the success of movements like ImageNation and Affrm are,  well,  moving.
They prove that while Tyler Perry performs a very useful function in black cinema (longggggggg sip),  he in no way represents mainstream. There are a million stories waiting to be told in Hi-quality, Hi-emotion…Hi-Def.

CC adores it all and had the honor of being part of the Greeting/Welcoming team for the advanced screening of “Gun Hill Road”. It stars Esai Morales and Judy Reyes – yes, the nurse from SCRUBS who EVERYONE should know. Or leave this blog now. Kidding.
Not only does Ms. Reyes star in it – she is the producer and one of my new She-roes. Read on for why….

First, the event:
The screening was held at Lincoln Center’s  Walter Reade Theatre. Where Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Gates, founders and HNIC’s of Imagenation, packed the house.

The crowd was diverse, open,and excited about the film.

Judy and several other executives Skype’d in to talk to the audience.

Finally, a live panel engaged in a great Q&A session with the audience, followed by a small reception sponsored by Whole Foods.

Now, the movie:

OMG. That’s all. Just OMG.

The promo gives you an idea of the plot…

Esai Morales

Gun Hill Road (courtesy of ImageNation)... click for info

Esai plays a husband, father, man returning home from prison to a life he doesn’t recognize, an indifferent wife, and a son he can’t understand.

However ~ writer that I fancy myself to be ~ no words can do justice to the power of this film. I can tell you that this film will move you. I won’t give it away but it touched on so many life issues that we all deal with. Don’t care who you are…

Things like:

  • What defines manhood?
  • Why does society have this jones to always test the masculinity of men of color?
  • When loyalty to another person overrules compatibility and loyalty to yourself, what do you do?
  • Then is that worth it – for either party? Are you a “bad person” for looking out for yourself first?
  • How do you gain the maturity to accept things you can’t control?
  • How do you master your own demons?
  • Is that ever even possible?

This was slick, smart, and unforgiving. The plot twists and shock ending will own you.

See a clip here

See Director Interview here

Go see it when it’s released.

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