Brother to Brother is an interesting film that highlights artists from the Harlem Renaissance and the similar plight contemporary African American artists face today. Like most first time film makers, Rodney Evans tries to accomplish too much in his first narrative film. That he succeeds as well as he does is a testament to his talent and love for his subject manner. This is a film about thoughts and concepts, conflict comes from a deeply internal place: How does a young black artist reconcile the duality of being Black and Gay. How do you handle it when other African-Americans hatred is stronger than the solidarity you want from them? The film is lyrical, appropriately poetic and sincere. Anthony Mackie is strong as the young artist (Perry) who stumbles across an elderly writer from the renaissance who has fallen on hard times, Bruce Nugent, wonderfully played by Roger Robinson. All the performances have charm and style. Brother to Brother is not a perfect film, but without making any special allowances it is an ambitious thoughtful film. It shows a time and place almost overlooked by the general public but worth more than a second look.
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