Monday, October 15, 2012

If Middle of Nowhere is playing in your city, go see it. Right now.

Between independent films and webseries, I'm pretty much giving up on the overwhelming majority of commercially-produced video entertainment.

I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the newest big independent Black-written, Black-directed, and nearly-entirely-Black-acted film of 2012, Middle of Nowhere, on Friday night. It was a beautiful, beautiful film. The acting was exquisite. I felt that I got to see multiple layers of each of the characters--even the ones I came to dislike (some quite strongly) throughout the course of the film, I felt like weren't wholly bad people. Ava DuVernay has created a film about the lives of Black women left behind by men in jail or otherwise gone without presenting a single character I could confidently called victim OR villain. On the contrary, each character, each scene, is an exercise in nuance. It is masterful, which is undoubtedly why DuVernay became the first Black women to ever win "Best Director" at Sundance. 

To me, this was a tale of tenacity with the potential to turn into triumph. It begins in uncertainty and ends unresolved. Absolutely nothing about it is neat, and I was surprised by the number of common tropes it set up and then distinctly veered away from. I was wholly impressed by this film, and as such, all my readers in DC, NYC, Philly, Atlanta, and LA, I urge you to spend the twelve bucks or however much a movie costs in your city and go see it. You can thank me later.  

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