REVIEW: Bull [2020]

I’m tired of you. Not the rodeo. There’s not much to do around Kristyl’s (Amber Havard) hard luck subdivision besides getting into trouble at her age. With parents too busy or in jail (as is the case with her mother) to have the financial security necessary to keep a close eye out, these teens end up spending their days searching for new spots to get drunk and/or high without an imminent threat of incarceration. So maybe Kris punches a classmate in the face. Maybe she takes her little sister (Keira…

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REVIEW: The Last Black Man in San Francisco [2019]

You don’t get to hate it unless you love it. One of the casualties of gentrification in San Francisco over the past half century was the Victorian home that Jimmie Fails’ (Jimmie Fails) grandfather built in the Fillmore District circa 1946. He feels its effect every single day too—enough that he and best friend Montgomery Allen (Jonathan Majors) take the bus to visit it when they know the new owners will be out. While Mont sits across the street to sketch its exterior, Jimmie walks through the gate to touch-up…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: Just Mercy [2019]

Trees swaying in the breeze. The story of Walter McMillian’s incarceration and subsequent time on death row is a powerful one with themes spanning police corruption, Southern racism, and justice itself as a means of finding truth rather than convenience. This is an innocent man with a concrete alibi sentenced to death because of coerced testimony and everyone intimately involved with the case knows. Since the victim was a white teenager and McMillian (Johnny D.) a black man caught having an affair with a white woman in the past, none…

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TIFF18 REVIEW: Monsters and Men [2018]

Six dudes for one guy. The conversation surrounding Black Lives Matter is (and should be) about the victims of police violence who’ve yet to see any killers in blue face real consequences. It’s not about saying their lives matter more than anyone else, but that they matter at all. Because if you look at the headlines it’s easy to wonder if people think they do—especially the police. Just like nursery rhymes in classrooms have begun teaching youngsters how to stay safe during school shootings, many parents of POC children are…

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REVIEW: Mudbound [2017]

They say it’s bad luck to watch somebody leave. People too often speak about America’s scars as though the damage was done, skin healed over, and remnants already mostly faded away. But this isn’t true. Ask any member of a group that has been marginalized from the moment Europeans landed on the Atlantic shore until now—namely anyone who isn’t a white Anglo-Saxon Christian—and hear about the myriad ways in which their country has still yet to treat them like they belong. Too many wax on about giving Native Americans land,…

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