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.
Stephen Dudro, Sarah Moudjebeur
See More Films from Black History Month
Black History Month: Short Film Showcase
The four short films in this program range from humorous dark comedy to sombre drama. These films explore existential crises, beauty standards and daring ambitions in the lives of the protagonists.
Interspersing interviews with archival footage, Union Street documents the history of Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, the formerly Black neighbourhood which was destroyed by the construction of the Georgia viaduct in the 1970s.
This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection
In this, the first of a new monthly series, ...to glimpse: African Cinema Now!, Mantoa, an 80-year-old woman who has lived her entire life in a small Lesotho village, is forced to venture out into the world and fight for what is right.
When Morning Comes
Nine-year-old Jamal (a radiant Djamari Roberts) is getting bullied at school and his mum -- a widow -- decides she needs to get him out of Jamaica and educated in Canada, with his grandmother. Only one problem: Jamal is not on board.
Using magical realism to paint a portrait of "undesirables" and "sorcerers" in the Congo, Augure (Omen) delves into the intricacies of identity, culture, and belief systems through a deeply rich and visually captivating lens.