Perceptive Reflections of Black Life at 2021 Toronto International Film Fest

After a year of COVID, TIFF returned as a hybrid festival with in-person screenings in Toronto and digital screenings around the world. A fine selection of African Diaspora films, films with black actors in their cast and general-release films brought the magic of TIFF alive again. Attica (***1/2) The 1971 Attica Prison Riots, the country’s longest and deadliest prison rebellion, […]

Cry Macho

When exposition and backstory weigh down an opening scene it’s tough for a film to get off the ground. That’s the burden screenwriter Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) and novelist N. Richard Nash’s dated, over-written script gives this road trip movie. Dead weight. In 1979, Mike Milo (Clint Eastwood), an older, washed-up ex-rodeo cowboy, is sent to Mexico to retrieve a 13-year-old […]

Music Lovers Reunite at Capital Jazz Fest 2021

After a 24-month COVID hibernation, the Capital Jazz Fest reconvened as a special edition at Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods in Columbia, Maryland. Normally an annual June event, which was canceled in 2020, the fest took place on September 4th and 5th—with a few modifications. Entry required proof of a COVID vaccination, or a negative test taken […]

Mogul Mowgli

“I’m built to prove myself,” chants Zed (Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal), a rebellious British/Pakistani rapper. Brazenly, he’s sharing a new, defiant perspective on the South Asian experience in the Western world.  Culture clash powers this feature film debut by documentary director Bassam Tariq. It’s a reckoning for the central character and anyone who has drifted into […]

Discover Atlanta’s Emerging Black Cuisine and City Sights

Explore Atlanta, Georgia, arguably the capital of the New South, and you’ll be embraced by a multicultural city, led by a black mayor and blessed with forward-thinking electorates who made Fulton County the most pivotal voting bloc in the country. These erudite Atlanteans are forging a new world, creating a vibrant food scene, supporting the […]

Never Gonna Snow Again

He’s a man about town. A lanky masseur in a tony neighborhood in Warsaw’s metro area. A Ukrainian immigrant. A foreigner. Not overly handsome, but magnetic. That’s the main character in this bedroom community slow-burning farce about a man whose sensitive hands rub Polish people the right way.  The concept and script were created by director […]

Take a Black Journey through Brattleboro Vermont

The first impression of the picturesque, alpine village of Brattleboro, Vermont is that it’s nestled in geographical beauty. Framed by the majestic Connecticut River and backdropped by the imposingly verdant and beautiful Wantastiquet Mountain, the city has an innate allure. Residents and visitors tend to hover around downtown, where the life is as vibrant as this 12,000-person […]

Respect

“They want to hear you sing,” says Rev. C.L. Franklin (Forest Whitaker) to his 10-year-old daughter Aretha (Skye Dakota Turner). And she did. Eventually singing herself into 25 Grammys, a posthumously awarded Pulitzer Prize Special Citation and the history books. How Franklin became the Queen of Soul and loved by millions is the subject of this fairly detailed and […]

Ailey

Gifted artists create a spirit so strong it lives on long after they’re gone. That’s the case with legendary choreographer/dancer Alvin Ailey. It’s like he never left. Never passed on.  Documentary director Jamila Wignot records the history, evolution and continuation of Ailey’s work during the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th anniversary year. Choreographer Rennie […]

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

Snake Eyes is a welcomed opportunity to see a cast of talented Asian actors dazzle. Even in an action franchise film built around a Hasbro toy doll, they excel. The film is an extension of a franchise started in 2009 with G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, when an elite military unit of special operatives (aka G.I. […]