7.1/10
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6 user 14 critic

Black Sheep (2018)

After the high-profile killing of Damilola Taylor, Cornelius' family move out of London. But when they discover their new town is run by racists, Cornelius takes a drastic step to survive.

Director:

Ed Perkins
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Cast

Credited cast:
Kai Francis Lewis Kai Francis Lewis ... Cornelius
Nikisha Lewis Nikisha Lewis ... Mother
Larry Olubamiwo ... Father
Cornelius Walker ... Himself
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Storyline

After the high-profile killing of Damilola Taylor, Cornelius' mother moved their family out of London only to find themselves living on an estate rife with racism. But rather than fight back, Cornelius became more like the people who hated him. Filmed with non-actors in the same locations where the real events took place 15 years ago, what follows is an extraordinary story of fractured identity and the things we do to survive. Written by Ed Perkins

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Sheep See more »

Company Credits

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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
A disturbing, somewhat flawed look at the lengths we go to to be accepted.
31 January 2019 | by HSwansonFilmsSee all my reviews

"Black Sheep" tells the story of Cornelius Walker, a young black man who bleaches his skin and wears colored contacts to be accepted by the local gang of racists in his new suburban town. After a while, he starts to act like them.

All of my problems with this documentary stem from the past, not the present. The dramatic visual recreations of Walker's experiences are awful. Almost all of the acting is horrendous, the dialogue is bad, and the shaky-cam directing wouldn't be faulted if they kept it thematically consistent. There are many shots in which the camera is shaking, even when nobody is moving. There are some shots where the camera is still even though someone is moving. It's so inconsistent and frustrating that I have to fault it.

However, other than that, this short is pretty great. All the technical aspects are spot-on. The lighting is the only part of the recreations I wholly enjoy, the editing is good, and the aspect ratio (I think it's 2.35:1, I can't find good specs for this film) works with the recreations and modern-day Cornelius. The only good actor in the recreations is Kai Francis Lewis, who plays young Cornelius and doesn't say a word of dialogue. Cornelius's story is very heartbreaking and messed up, and I really do enjoy the ending.

This short really isn't worth a rewatch, but it's worth a watch. I might change it to a 6 later, in which case this review will be edited and a note will be made.


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