Happy Saturday MMT Fam! I know it’s the end of the month, but it’s two days left – so you can still consider these November picks! 🙂
My first pick – the Array release Mississippi Damned – is a powerful example of great story-telling – although I will admit it was a bit heavy for me during the first viewing (trigger warning for anyone who’s experienced any sexual or domestic violence).
The 2009 début film – based on the life of writer/director Tina Mabry – follows three sisters and their children through various courses of poverty, heartbreak, betrayal, addiction and abuse. Yet it depicts hope and opportunity via a character named Kari – portrayed beautifully by Tessa Thompson (Creed, Selma, Dear White People).
The performances in this film are amazing, and I dare you to watch it without tearing or becoming angry at least once. I had to watch it twice, because it was so much happening I thought I’d missed something the first time – yes I went through various emotions, it was that deep. But I loved that it ended with a note of hope, and could appreciate the story it took to get there.
My second Netflix selection is an absolute fave – Night Catches Us – starring Anthony Mackie (Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hurt Locker) and Kerry Washington (Scandal, Peeples, Django Unchained). Brilliantly shot in my hometown of Philly, this 2010 début film – by writer/director Tanya Hamilton – tells the story of ex-Black Panther Marcus (Mackie) who returns to Philadelphia for his father’s funeral. Marcus knows it’s not going to be an easy visit as many people still hold him responsible for the death of a Panther leader right before he left town. While trying to convince everyone he’s not, Marcus reignites his relationship with Patricia (Washington) – who happens to be the widow of the slain leader.
Anthony Mackie in this role “gives me life.” I think I fell in love with a fictional character watching this film! And I know it’s apparent, but yes I do love shouting out my hometown! However, it’s far from bias with this movie, because the cinematography is gorgeous and the storytelling is highly exceptional.
One more thing: the soundtrack was done by homegrown music legends “The Roots” – with Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter multi-tasking by portraying Marcus’ brother Bostic as well.
My last pick today is a movie I gave a great review to last year – and still enjoyed when I watched the second time around – Beyond The Lights. Writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood created a gem with this one, and it “burns me up” to think about how under-appreciated this drama/love story is. Here’s a link to my full review of the film, and I’ve added the original trailer below, but I encourage you to add this one to your Netflix list if you haven’t seen it!
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Nate Parker (Red Tails, The Great Debaters), Minnie Driver (The Red Tent, Ella Enchanted, Good Will Hunting), and Danny Glover (LUV, Mooz-lum, The Color Purple) star – and that’s all I would need to hear to get me to watch – but if that doesn’t grab you, know that Mbatha-Raw’s performance as a pop-star battling depression and familial struggle is outstanding. And does Nate Parker do any wrong? I haven’t seen it!
Alright family you know the drill, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts if you’ve seen any of these films – or plan on taking my recommendations. I enjoy getting your feedback!
Until next thought, Thomasena