Been a busy time lately so I decided to write multiple posts at one time. I nor the team haven't been posted once when we do it's magic. We got a chance to go to the opening day of the 3rd Annual Liberacion Film Festival at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, New York. The opening night film was Monsters and Men starring John David Washington and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. Before the film started we watched a short film called I, Marielle, Resist which documented the life and final days of Afro-Brazilian activist Marielle Franco who was assassinated by the government for her political views and rising profile in the community she came from. The film starts off the final night where Marielle was speaking at before getting into a car to go to a protest and getting assassinated by officers execution style. Throughout the film you hear from her contemporaries, her party and the people who felt connected to her story because they were/are still going through the struggle. It was beautifully put together to chronicle not only Marielle's views and struggle but also the people who she defended daily and the past that inspired her activities to the very end. This is a film that should be talked about in colleges especially when discussing feminism and people of color cause to protest.
Monsters and Men came on right after I, Marielle, Resist. It continued the tone of law enforcement and the people who suffer under their protection. The premise is build around a situation similar to Eric Garner the man who was killed by a chokehold from a NYPD officer which in turn help moved the Black Lives Matter movement up north. The movie revolved around three figures: a cop who is torn between the brotherhood of the police and outside on the streets, a young kid who plays baseball but wants to help in the community and impressed by the daughter of the man who is killed by police and the man who recorded the video that sets off protests throughout the city. All three are connected because they're from the same neighborhood and face similar situations because of their ethnicity. There was a nice buildup for seeing the cops interaction with the public as they watch protesters at the crime scene. Throughout the movie you see different interactions between the characters, the cop who feels that people of color don't get a fair shake but what can he do? The kid who wants to be a baseball star but feels compelled to do something right for a change. Without giving out any spoilers the movie is gravitating enough to keep you looking at the screen until the end and even then you will want more. It was definitely make your opinions on law enforcement different.
These two films was definitely the perfect start to the festival. It couldn't have been scripted better. It was definitely a good way to start the movie marathon weekend that we embarked between the two festivals but a effort was made and it was met. Next post will be about the Bushwick Film Festival.