For those of you who have not heard or don’t know about this phenomenal film written by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal and Directed by Carlos López-Estrada, there has never been a better and more important time for a film like this. It touches on the racial innequality between black and white people in the U.S., the idea of performing race, and a sense of finding ones self and figuring out how to navigate life as a member of the opressed. This film is categotized as a Drama/Comedy which is also an important part of its appeal to a wide audience.
We are in a state of war with eachother wether we like it or not. The history of this country is largely viewed as Black vs White where we see an uneven distribution of privledge and concequences. The film follows the story of Colin (Daveed Diggs) going through his last three days on probation as he tries to stay out of trouble with his friend, Miles (Rafael Casal). There is a clear divide in privledge between the two friends. Colin seems to see himself taking a lot of the fall for the trouble he and Miles get into, but despite all of the trouble and after a realization of all the trouble Miles had caused, Colin does not necessarily walk away from it. Rather he comfronts these issues with Miles.
It is no secret that systematically Black people (and people of color in general) are opressed by systems put in place to protect and this is explicitly shown through the shooting, witnessed by Colin in his truck, of the young black man by the police officer who Colin later confronts. In this scene along with the nighmares Colin has about the shooting and the nightmares of all the dead black men in the cemetery, there is a clear sense constant fear and helplessness that comes with the inescapability of fate that Colin is experiencing. These may be the most important scenes in the film as they are able to truly capture the feeling of being trapped by all of the obstacles black men face based on the color of their skin. Just by looking at Colin, people should not assume he is a criminal, (despite the fact that he does have a record) yet there are many people that will which is something that Val, Colin’s ex girlfriend brings up. This is also the reason she wants him to stop hanging out with Miles, because he will always look guilty. And despite the fact that Colin is trying to change his life for the better, he will always be seen as a convict and in the U.S., there is no coming back from that, especially for people of color.
The last thing I will bring up about this film, though there is a lot more to say is the scene where Colin Confront the Police Officer. This is an extremely powerful scene that is completely unpredictable and had a lasting effect. In this scene, Colin threatens the officer so that he can get him in a position where he is able to talk to him. Colin mentions that he’s rapping because it’s the only way to get the cop to listen. This is only one of the examples in the film that bring up stereotypes of black men that are glorified by a white audience. By saying this, I mean that rapping has become something so popular that everyone listens to it and Colin uses this in order to get through to the officer. Colin also says, in this confrontation that the only difference between the cop and he is that he is not a killer. This is another sterotype that is made by white people in power as an excuse to incarcerate and kill more people of color and get away with it. This is something that truly needs to end and there is no better film that has come out this year to get that message across.