Monday, June 15, 2009

Black, Gay and Brilliant

I saw this film on Sunday and was moved on more levels than this post alone can capture. Being Black and different carries a uniquely burdensome stigma within the Black community. Without sounding exclusionary, and writing only from my own experiences of being Black and different, I found this film a head-noddingly accurate depiction of the seldom bespoken caveats.

Brother to Brother is the semi-fictitious narrative tale of friendship between recently denounced art student, Perry and the now homeless Richard Bruce Nugent; famed Harlem Renaissance pioneer. The fortuitous union of these two brilliant minds is where the story begins; at the base of the stairs of a brownstone in Brooklyn, New York.

A story rich in history, art, culture, love and character. Each of its characters replete with pride, rebellion and joie de vivre; Brother to Brother toggles seamlessly between the present and the past, the real and the imagined. The film dissects and sheds light on the struggle to find the delicate balance of acceptance between two worlds; Blackness and homosexuality. Then and now, the names, faces, and places change but the struggle remains the same.

Wallace Thurman, Langston Hughes, Richard Bruce Nugent, "Perry", and this film: Black, gay and brilliant!

Peace and Netflix


High Desert Diva said...

Thanks for the excellent recommendation

Peace and Netflix...heh, heh

Kwana said...

Thanks for this review. I'll look out for it.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

Man--this one sounds brilliant. I have to say that I've become quite curious about Wallace Thurman (I purchased a piece of art depicting him, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes high stepping down a Harlem block) and would love to see this just to get a read on who this brilliant man was... from what little bit of info I could find (on the internet--I haven't done anything extensive), he sounded mad complicated.

Thanks for the heads up... I'm definitely going to go seek this one out.

Bookie Nook said...

I'm interested. I never thought about it, but being different and Black are two things that have a hard time co-existing. Really it's being human and different. Humans like people to be the same. It goes back to survival basics, not sticking with the group could kill the whole tribe.

When you think about that fact that Blacks were still being beaten, punished, and hanged for the slightest thing just 40 - 50 years ago it stands to reason that "different" would be something that is still viewed as threatening survival. Although it is outdated now, it will take a awhile for us all to realize it and let folks be who they are.

When I grew up I was different. I ate different, I worshipped different, I was taught different and as a result I thought and spoke different. I accepted different too, and still do. However, I understand why others don't.

Anyhow, I'm gonna get that movie and check it out!


Bookie Nook said...

BTW-- Bookie Nook is me Jewelry Rockstar. Still signed in as my kids blog. ooops!!!!

A Cuban In London said...

This is the 'difference within the difference'. Not my words, I wish, but my friend Yvonne's, or rather ex-friend, I haven't seen her for more than fifteen years. She used this phrase when writing an article for a short-lived gay publication in Havana in the early to mid 90s, Huellas (Footprints). In the article Yvonne explained what it was like to be a woman, lesbian and black. It made me realise that there was another world out there with which I was not very acquainted. Your film review provoked the same reaction. I will look out for it. It doesn't ring any bells and that's either because it's recent or because it hasn't had a very good distribution. Many thanks for such a brilliant and inspiring post.

Greetings from London.

Sherry said...

I miss you, T. I've already put this in my queue to see. And you wouldn't be so insightful if you weren't so different. Being different and living life the way I do, one toe in the traditional and the others way outside the box is for me the only way to be.

Newness of Life said...

That sure does look like a great movie. Once I get back on my Netflix I'll have to add it to my queue

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

I always appreciate your movie reviews because they push me out of my "normal" choices! ; ) (ie, nothing blows up and no space ships. I'm my own different, in a way, girl with movie tastes like a teenaged boy!)

hint said...

Thanks for giving me the heads up on this film. Sometimes films like this pass me by because I've got my head down. It looks really genuine. I look forward to watching and learning from it.

Sherry Goodloe said...

Just found this movie on for under $12. With your review of this movie, I didn't hesitate to "Add to Cart". Thank you :)

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin