Mudbound (2017)

Director: Dee Rees
Writer: Virgil Williams, Dee Rees
Based on: Hillary Jordan‘s novel
Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige, Jonathan Banks
Seen on: 05.04.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) racism, racial violence

Henry McAllan (Jason Mitchell) buys a farm in the last corner of Mississippi without discussing it with his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) who is not thrilled. Nevertheless, they, their children and Henry’s cranky, racist father (Jonathan Banks) make their way there. The farm is being worked on by Hap Jackson (Rob Morgan) and his family who have been tending the land without much hope of ownership for generations. The McAllans and the Jacksons not only have the land in common, though under completely different conditions, but als World War II. Henry’s brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) is a soldier as is Hap’s son Roncel (Jason Mitchell). But the racial divide looms large in more than one way.

Mudbound is an excellent film that carries quite a punch and managed to not only not make me hate voice-over, but actually appreciate it. It’s definitely not easy to watch, but it is even more definitely really good.

The film poster with all of the main characters artfully arranged.
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Pariah (2011)

Director: Dee Rees
Writer: Dee Rees
Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Aasha Davis, Charles Parnell, Sahra Mellesse, Kim Wayans
Part of: The film will be shown on June 15th in Vienna as part of the identities festival.

When 16 year old Alike (Adepero Oduye) is out with her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), they go to lesbian clubbings and try to get Qlike her first kiss. But at home, she has to hide her sexual orientation, though her parents do suspect something’s up. Her mother (Sahra Mellesse) tries to get her out of Laura’s influence in the hopes to change things, while her father (Charles Parnell) doesn’t want to get involved much.

Pariah was a well made, engaging film that doesn’t tell a very easy story (even if it’s not the newest) but tells it with a lot empathy and sensitivity, and a good cast.


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