Friday, September 16, 2011

I Will Follow - Review

I Will Follow

Written and Directed by Ava DuVernay

Produced by Howard Barish, Ava DuVernay, Molly M. Mayeux

Cinematography by Miguel Bunster

Released: March 11, 2011 (USA)

Summary: Chronicles a day in the life of a grieving woman, and the twelve visitors who help her move forward.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Omari Hardwick
Michole White
Beverly Todd
Dijon Talton
Blair Underwood
Tracie Thoms


As I’ve said in the past, I usually post movie (and other media) reviews at Cool Black Media. I don’t usually post movie reviews here at the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Blog, UNLESS it is an independent film worthy of distinction and I Will Follow is such a film.

THIS is the type of black movie that should always get made and get made often. This is not a movie about black people, but more a movie about people who happen to be black, in a story that’s universal.

The story told here, happens everyday and is happening as you read this. Someone dies and the family has to deal with the aftermath. As usual with the death of a loved one there is conflict within the family for a myriad of reasons and most of them are never about the person who has died, but what they leave behind literally and emotionally.

This movie isn’t all about death and despair, there are lots of light moments and a REAL human story at its center. I’m being intentionally vague because I went into this film COLD. I didn’t even watch the trailer and I think I am better for it. I think you should too, but if you MUST see a trailer, their official website is linked at the bottom of the review.

I Will Follow is a really nice story without a lot of histrionics and sweeping plot twists. That is not to say that there aren’t revelations in the story, but they are all organic and many aren’t revealed until the story is over.

In fact the whole movie just seems real with performances that are organic and true. Salli Richardson-Whitfield as Maye turns in a really nice performance at the center of the story. She deals with the various elements of the day with vigor and determination without being melodramatic. Michole White turns in a particularly strong performance as Fran.

A really nice movie with a lot of good performances. Definitely one of the best black movies I’ve seen all year. This movie keeps it real and that’s a good thing.

You can see the trailer and more at the official website by clicking the graphic below

Commentary: I was kind of apprehensive about seeing this film and not for the reason you might think. I wrote about this film and the “movement” that promoted and distributed it, AFFRM, quite extensively here on the blog. As I posted in that entry:
AFFRM - the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement hopes to spread the distribution of black-themed films through black film festivals based in New York, Atlanta, Seattle and Los Angeles including our online contact Reelblack in Philadelphia. The film festivals will share the profits from the film for helping to promote its wider release.
I Will Follow was the first film distributed by AFFRM. I thought, what if I don’t like the film? What will I do then? Probably nothing. Whether I liked the film or not, the MOVEMENT is what’s important. If I didn’t think it was important I wouldn’t have written about it. If I didn’t like the film I wouldn’t have reviewed it because I don’t diss films on this blog. I don’t diss films because I know what hard work it is to make a film and no matter the result, at least they got the film made!

All of my trepidation about I Will Follow is moot because I liked the film, I really liked the film. Whew. LOL.

You can see all of the info and video I posted on AFFRM by clicking their logo below


HazelEyedErica said...

I agree with your review. Especially the part about not being so melodramatic. The film wasn't melodramatic at all. I finished the movie smiling not wanting to slit my wrist. I liked that I was able to watch a film about death without being completely overwhelmed.

Dankwa Brooks said...

Exactly! I completely agree! So many films would have played up the the drama and this film kept it REAL.