Merawi Gerima takes an interest in the gentrified neighborhoods of Washington DC
Son of the famous Ethiopian filmmaker Haile gerima, a legendary figure in the LA Rebellion film movement which refers to the generation of young African and African American filmmakers who studied at UCLA Film School from the late 1960s to the late 1980s and created a noir cinema offering a alternative to classic Hollywood cinema, Merawi Gerima takes over from his father with his first feature film Residue.
In this film, shot entirely in the Washington DC neighborhood, Gerima portrays Jay, a thirty-something living in California who returns to live in his old Washington neighborhood. He then discovers how much the neighborhood of Eckington has become gentrified: African-American residents find themselves pushed out of their homes by richer, predominantly white landlords. Treated like a stranger by his old friends, Jay is lost and doesn’t quite know which world he belongs to. He then decides to make a film about this neighborhood that surrounds him, to give a voice to those who do not have one. Soon in the cinema, a first trailer was released:
In the role of Jay, Gerima films Obinna nwachukwu, surrounded by Dennis Lindsey, Taline Stewart and Derron Scott. The director stages them in an almost autobiographical fiction, since Merawi Gerima tells in an interview that he wanted to give body to his former childhood neighborhood: “In college, my parents made us move to another Washington neighborhood. Every time I return to my old neighborhood, a childhood friend has moved, disappeared, was jailed or killed. A bustling neighborhood, devastated by decades of drugs, divestment and police ubiquity. Today, apart from a few surviving families, you will hardly find any trace of our existence. The neighborhood has been wiped out. The new and glitzy community that replaces it gives us life. feeling like it’s always been there, like it’s not built on bones. Residue is my attempt, to use the words of Dominique Christina (African-American poet and activist), to restore flesh to these bones. “
Presented for the first time at the Slamdance 2020 festival and during the Venice Days de la Mostra 2020, Residue will arrive in France at the beginning of the year 2022. The long is dated precisely at January 5.
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