I Will Follow
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"I Will Follow" is a lovely film. Simple. Serene. Quiet yet aptly punctuated with electric scenes like the emotional confrontation between Maye and her cousin (and Amanda's daughter) Fran (powerfully rendered by Michole White) and the deliciously tense exchange between Maye and Troy (played by Omari Hardwick - uh. yum), a gentleman friend who'd been on standby for a year. (So as not to give too much away, I'm gonna leave it at that.) The film's location - a charming home in Topanga Canyon, California - and soothing soundtrack provide the perfect backdrop and ambience.
Outside of their common tropes, devoid of demeaning pathology and dehumanizing racial and sexual gazes, DuVernay is free to display these characters with an inward gaze, which only serves to magnify their humanity. They have lives that seem informed by events that occur before and after the film. In other words, they are three dimensional: not "black people" or "gay people," but just people.
All of this is recorded with a lens so precise and a light so interested in finding the beauty in every instant, that even the moments of sorrow are moonglow. And one must not forget the cinematography: lovely trees, breathtaking sunsets, winding roads, and the elegance of privacy. One can only hope that the Academy and the NAACP are watching, too.
I Will Follow is a sublime, hip, inspired, affirming, empowering film that evinces DuVernay's incredible intellect. If this is the kind of art we can expect from this writer/director in the future, then, perhaps, we should follow her wherever she decides to take us.
Salli Richardson-Whitfield gives one of her finest performances as Maye, the niece of Amanda, a background drummer for some of the most popular musicians of the70's and 80's. After taking a year off to care for her dying aunt, she has one day to pack up all the belongings in the home she shared with her and we watch as twelve strangers help her pack her belongings into a truck and help her move forward with her life.
I Will Follow is a great movie. It's rare that we get to see these slices of African-American life presented onscreen, a film where we see African-Americans as multidimensional people, expressing themselves as human beings, not like caricatures and stereotypes. This is the kind of story about Black life we hear about all the time, but it's rarely ever shown onscreen in the media. It's very rare that Black actors are given material of this quality and an opportunity to perform playing multidimensional characters like this in today's media. This is the kind of African-American film I want to see made, and if I made films this would be the kind of film I would make.
The screenwriting on this film is top notch. Many say Duvernay's story is slow, but I have no problem with the pacing of this movie. The storyline is very subtle and nuanced showing us those little things in life so many of us take for granted. It's the kind of story that can easily go over people's heads if they're not paying attention.Read more ›
At this price point, it should be added to your dvd collection; and viewed with those that you love, that you may love, that you call friend, that you call family. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow build. Then right before the end, you realize what it's actually about. Powerful but subtle.Published 2 months ago by Ram Fan
Great movie about relationships featuring people of color!!! The actors are awesome and it helps that the script is well written.Published 2 months ago by Ondria Rodgers
OK it was about a niece that took her dying aunt to the woods to die in peace. But it was NOT worth watching at all...Omari Hardwicks roll was very limited ... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Stephanie Duckett