In the summer of ‘76, as President Jimmy Carter pledges to give government back to the people, tensions run high in a working-class Philadelphia neighborhood where the Black Panthers once flourished. When Marcus returns—having bolted years earlier—his homecoming isn’t exactly met with fanfare. His former movement brothers blame him for an unspeakable betrayal. Only his best friend’s widow, Patricia, appreciates Marcus’s predicament, which both unites and paralyzes them. As Patricia’s daughter compels the two comrades to confront their past, history repeats itself in dangerous ways.
Night Catches Us masterfully reckons with the complexity of its characters’ revolutionary ideologies and internal desires. Bell-bottoms, Afros, potlucks, and Caddies set the scene as the film potently interweaves political media with an evocative soul-inspired score, summoning a vivid sense of place and time. The golden light that bathes characters’ faces seems to express the promise—and elusiveness—of the necessary change Marcus and Patricia struggle for so dearly—each by separate means. —Sundance Film Festival
ideally, this is what mainstream film-making could look like. it could reflect upon interesting moments in history, shed light on the communities that were wrapped up in them and tell engaging stories about the events that transpired. don't go into this looking for the agitprop of spike lee or the neo-realism of charles burnett. expect sober storytelling for adults, and all of the ambiguity that "adulthood" implies.
An homage to the neorealist films of the LA Rebellion that may not be as successful in its techniques, but is still an interesting (if not a wee bit bluntly metaphoric: the death at the end and the wallpaper was a bit much) exploration of the reality of history and the stunting consequences of false nostalgia and selective remembrance.
"Ballet has been mourned as a dying art so often in recent years (even by its devotees — dark ash weeps from the sky at the demise of