gun hill road//rashaad ernesto green


gun hill road is a film about a latino family whose paroled father comes back to the bronx to find his teenage son transitioning to femalehood. i had a chance to see it at angelika film center a couple of sundays ago, followed by a q&a with lead actress harmony santana and writer/director rashaad ernesto green.

it's one of the more interesting and engaging films i've seen in a very long time--and i'm not just saying that because rashaad is one of my nyu grad film colleagues. i left the theater a more enlightened person, both as a viewer and a filmmaker. the writing is fresh and authentic, the acting on point, and it spotlights an issue that isn't being discussed in mainstream american society, particularly in latino and minority communities.

when i was on set with tunde kelani, he said--quite emphatically, as i remember--that there's nothing coming out of hollywood. i wanted to disagree, point out all the wonderful indie filmmakers, some of them friends, doing really interesting work. then i realized they all work outside the hollywood system. it's a hard reality that the hollywood machine is mass producing, packaging and distributing the same old stories again and again. but it's really refreshing to know there are alternative means for telling other kinds of stories out there. --AL.

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