As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
I was lucky to see this at the Milwaukee Film Festival with the director, writer and two leads in attendance. The children who play the 2 main characters gave incredibly honest and nuanced performances, especially considering the harsh reality of the characters. Skylan Brooks has some real acting chops and I can't wait to see what he does next.
Apparently it took quite a while to get the film funded and then distributed - until some bigger names like Jennifer Hudson signed on, they studios responded saying "No one will pay to see a film about inner city children." This film, however, is not only important (because of its oft overlooked subjects) but also beautifully told with compelling characters. I found myself laughing as well as gasping in shock, sitting on the edge of my seat, and tearing up.
Even 5 days after seeing it, I'm still thinking about it and how this story plays out every day. Now that's a well told story!
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