June 9th – June 15th
It’s alive! It’s ALIVE!
Vicaria has just lost her brother to police brutality, but that’s not going to stop her from trying to rebuild her family. A brilliant young woman and the only Black student at her all-white school, Vicaria is so obsessed with death that it has taken over her every waking moment and put her at odds with her racist biology teacher. No matter. If death is a disease, as she believes, she may have found a way to cure it on her own. But in this Frankenstein-inspired tale, curing hate is another thing altogether.
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster is the directorial debut of Bomani J. Story, who wrote 2018’s Rock Steady Row (which was sort of like if Walter Hill’s The Warriors took place at a college), and if there’s anything he has in abundance as an up-and-coming voice, it’s passion and grit. This thriller is shot in a low-income housing section of Charlotte, North Carolina, and his ever-moving camera doesn’t elicit playfulness so much as tactility, putting you full force in a world undone by systemic oppression. Special mention must be made of the practical gore effects, which manage to be effective on a horror movie level without the film abandoning its themes about cycles of violence. These kills hurt.
How can Black life sustain itself, the film wonders, when society gives it no room to breathe?
(Full disclosure: I volunteer at the Grand Illusion. It’s 100% run by volunteers, and everyone should volunteer there.)
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