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USA 2004
Directed by
Rodney Evans
90 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Brother To Brother

Other than the work of Spike Lee, it is unusual to experience Afro-American culture beyond the requirements of massively white-dominated American film so writer/director Rodney Evans' film, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, is well-worthy of attention.

Although there is an (understandable) tendency to moral preciosity, Evans delivers a well-constructed and well-acted film that combines a semi-documentary historical dramatization of a leading group of artists and writers of the "Harlem Renaissance" of the 1920s, as seen through the eyes of one of its members, black gay poet, Richard Bruce Nugent (Roger Robinson), with a contemporary story of a black gay New York college student, Perry (Anthony Mackie), and his own struggles to achieve personal fulfilment.

Whilst the overall conclusion is plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, in both its historical and contemporary aspects, Evans opens a window on a rarely-considered subject and gives us both an absorbing lesson in history and a multi-layered account of the perennial, boundary-transgressing search for love.




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