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Sorry to Bother You

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In an alternate Oakland, California, Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) searches for financial security and yearns to escape his makeshift bedroom in his uncle’s garage. Taking a job as a telemarketer, he discovers an invaluable, uncanny hidden talent. In the ascendancy, Cassius is also on the opposing side of his friends and coworkers who protesting corporate oppression. Stuck between the glittering promise of corporate America and the liberation of his community, Cassius must decide if the American dream is truly his to bear.

 

Feb 5: Intro by A New Chapter curator Jamila Pomeroy

 

Sorry To Bother You serves as a brilliant commentary on the intersection of North American Black culture, systemic racism and late-stage capitalism. The film clarifies that even if we (Black folks) stick to the script, the American dream is a strikingly macabre experience for marginalized people, when its white-picket fences are built on the exploitation of marginalized communities. Despite this, writer-director Boots Riley reframes this reality as something far from a classic Black-tragedy-to-triumph storyline that is isolated within the Black experience. Instead, he articulates these issues as broadly North American struggles that are effectively combated by communal self-organization. The subject matter might seem heavy on paper, but this film is anything but. For me, Riley’s smart comedy and outlandish surrealist approach to storytelling is a breath of fresh air that challenges what Black cinema is supposed to be—which as a young Black filmmaker, is both energizing and inspiring. In a world that rewards us for climbing up the corporate ladder no matter the cost, this hilarious cautionary tale reminds us that community, though often complicated, is worth more than anything money can buy.

Jamila Pomeroy

Director

Boots Riley

Cast

Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Terry Crews, Danny Glover

Credits
Country of Origin

USA

Year

2018

Language

English

19+
111 min

Book Tickets

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Credits

Screenwriter

Boots Riley

Cinematography

Doug Emmett

Editor

Terel Gibson

Production Design

Jason Kisvarday

Art Director

Stephen Dudro, Sarah Moudjebeur

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