AAFCA Roundtable Series: a chat with ALL DAY AND A NIGHT writer/director Joe Robert Cole and stars Ashton Sanders & Jeffrey Wright

All Day And A Night – Ashton Sanders, Jeffrey Wright – Photo Credit: Netflix / Matt Kennedy

“Slavery taught Black people to survive, but not how to live. And that’s what we pass on to each other.”

Part of a quote spoken by the lead character in A DAY AND A NIGHT, the new crime drama that premiered on Netflix last Friday, and an appropriate synopsis of what contributes to so many carrying out legacies of dysfunction which, in the case of this film, results in incarceration.

It’s a topic that could so easily fall into the “been there, seen that” category, but for an intuitive writer like Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther) it becomes a lesson on growth, maturation, forgiveness and healing.

In sitting down for another virtual meeting with the AAFCA fam, I got a chance to ask Cole about storytelling being “an exercise in empathy” and how that relates to the characters he writes. And full disclosure, and in a lesson on humility for me, I very much flubbed my opportunity to get a direct answer from one of my acting GAWDS, Mr. Jeffrey Wright (Westworld, The Hunger Games), and the extremely talented Mr. Ashton Sanders (Moonlight, Wu-Tang: An American Saga) – who portray their respective characters JD and Jahkor with varying extremes of bravado and vulnerability.

What happened you ask? Well, I posed a question to all three but in the interest of time (we were told we had 30 minutes with the talent) I paused after Cole answered an inquiry for all three – Mr. Wright nor Mr. Ashton didn’t respond immediately, and I didn’t prod – and the rest is Thomasena you plum missed out history!

But you can watch the video edit below, with Mr. Cole, and see the full video with the cast discussing the film on The AAFCA YouTube channel here. And don’t forget to subscribe to both the aforementioned and the MusicMoviesThoughts TV channel on YouTube here!

With an unexpected twist on the genre, the film is a gritty but remarkable and emotional story of maturation, both physically and mentally, beyond one’s circumstances and the ability to overcome and change family patterns. I rate ALL DAY AND A NIGHT 3.5 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.

Until next thought, Thomasena


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