New York’s Tribeca Film Festival was home to a diverse bunch of movies this year. We were front and center this year and reviewed six of the fest’s best offerings. Check ‘em out below.
Director: Dana Flor and Tony Oppenheimer
Washington D.C. is home to one of the largest rich-poor gaps and highest rates of gay hate crimes in America. Dana Flor and Tony Oppenheimer’s documentary about the Check It, an LGBT who banded together in self-defense before attempting to break into fashion and sports is a revealing look into the effects of poverty and societal neglect on D.C.’s Black LGBT youth.
Don’t Think Twice
Director: Mike Birbiglia
Keegan-Michael Key’s got acting chops and solo star power that transcends his most famous role as one half of Key & Peele. He and his equally talented co-star have been branching out on their own recently, and ironically enough, one of Key’s first big solo features is this Mike Birbiglia-directed dramedy about an improv troupe dealing with the sudden fame of one of its members. Birbiglia’s no stranger to meditations on guilt over sudden fame (his directorial debut Sleepwalk With Me turned four this year), and Don’t Think Twice amplifies the anxiety by six with poignant results.
Director: Justin Tipping
Sneakers have been a fashion staple for a minute, and Justin Tipping’s feature debut uses the story of Brandon (newcomer Jahking Guillory) setting out on a journey to get back his stolen kicks from a local bully. The ensemble cast and coming-of-age plot may be reminiscent of last year’s stellar Dope, but Tipping’s film is a harsher and grittier take on manhood and the true meaning behind a fresh pair of kicks.
Director: Salima Koroma
Hip-hop culture is firmly rooted in Blackness but has been diversifying itself for the last three decades. Writer-director Salima Koroma’s Bad Rap details the struggles Asian-Americans have with being taken seriously in hip-hop culture through the eyes of four emcees; Dumbfoundead, Rekstizzy, Lyricks, Awkwafina, and more spill their guts on making an impact as Asian-American rappers and the casual racism that pervades their everyday lives.
Gift Of Gab (short film)
Director: Michael Jacobs
Blackalicious is quite possibly one of the most underrated hip-hop groups of the 21st century, thanks in large part to Timothy “Gift of Gab” Parker’s silver-tongued rhymes. His short film, part of the Rock And A Hard Place series, details his battle with kidney disease and diabetes over the course of the last decade leading up to the group’s latest album Imani vol. 1. Watching a legend go through what Gab’s gone through is rough enough on its own, but Michael Jacobs’ affecting short is enough to make you pull out Blazing Arrow one more time.
Do Not Resist
Director: Craig Atkinson
Police occupancies of cities like Ferguson, MI and Baltimore, MD post-Black Lives Matter have proven time and time again that the police force is militarized as fuck. Craig Atkinson’s Do Not Resist is a straight-faced look at the effects absolute power via high-tech weaponry have on small communities across the country. Footage of police showing up to protests with tear gas and military-grade weapons isn’t new to us anymore, but Do Not Resist will open your eyes to just how widespread the American thirst for power truly is.