BLINDSPOTTING | Why you should watch it from someone who has seen it 3 times.
The best movie of 2018.
Comedy. Suspense. Current Events.
With the federal government deeming six figure salaries to be low income in certain areas and having the worst housing crisis in all California, The Bay has more than one reason to be the perfect backdrop for Def Poetry Jam Alumni, Rafael Casal and Hamilton's Daveed Diggs first major film, Blindspotting.
Set in one of California's cultural epicenters, Blindspotting throws you into everything that is The Bay within its 95 minute run time. Slang, problems with gentrification, music, relationships and cultural identity. It has it all and more.
Without telling you the premise of the movie, because I want you to go see it, here is a small un-detailed synopsis. Two friends, Collin and Miles, spend 3 days working in the city as they eagerly wait for Collin to be released from parole. Collin, a mild mannered parolee, is targeted by the justice system who want to put him back in jail in anyway possible and those around him that see him as the opposite of who he really is due to appearance. Miles is the hotheaded "minority among minorities" born and bred in the same community as Collin but still fighting for respect. Two targets within their community with different shooters. With cultural identity in the background, the pair deal with combating post traumatic stress, police shootings, personal identity and the real wearer of the N- word while sprinkling in verse and rhyme to “make it pretty.”
In the 3 screenings I went to, there were 3 different crowds: the artsy folks that came with their Black and Brown Pride t-shirts, the Beverly Hills/Culver City crowd and then the Hamilton/ Diggs and Raf fans. Each different and with different viewpoints.
While I sat in the 2nd screening, one pivotal moment in the movie changed my perspective of current society. When Mile's son says "Don't Shoot Don't Shoot" in a joking matter to his Godfather Colin, 2/3rds of the crowd laughed. They laughed at a child having to be taught to say "Don't Shoot" with their hands up as a protective measure because he is being told stop by someone of authority.
At that moment and many moments after, I questioned if this crowd even understood what was happening on the screens in front of them. The movie screen and the news screen.
With 1,147 people being killed by the police in 2017 alone, it is safe to say that that should not be the reaction. Of those being killed 25% were African Americans although AA only make up 15% of the American population. This is a problem and while "Don't Shoot" was said jokingly by a child actor on a movie screen, this is the reality that children of color are going through everyday in America.
There are so many moments I could sit down and dissect, be it the American justice system designed for people of color to fail, cultural identity, inclusions or gentrification, but this write up would be longer than the movie. If you see it once, I would recommend you seeing it at least a second time so you can see the nuances that you missed the first go round.
Go see the movie in theaters with an open mind. Don't bootleg or try to find it online, you will do yourself a disservice.
I hope Casal and Diggs get the nominations they deserve.
- Asha Moné