DVD Night Catches Us [DVD] (DVD 7011696),
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Night Catches Us [DVD]
Region 1 USA/CA (
A man comes home to find some of the demons of his past waiting for him in this independent drama from writer and director Tanya Hamilton. Marcus (Anthony Mackie) was born and raised in Philadelphia, but hasn't been there for years when he comes back in 1976 to attend the funeral of his father, a local minister. Marcus came of age during the late '60s and was a member of the Black Panther Party when revolution and black power were hot topics in Philly's African-American community. After a key figure in the local Black Panther organization was assassinated, many suspected someone inside the group had informed on them to the police, and more than a few were certain Marcus was the rat as he walked out on the Panthers and left town shortly after the murder. As Marcus visits his old neighborhood, he has to deal with strained relationships in his family and the distrust of old friends convinced he betrayed a close friend; he also spends some time with Patricia (Kerry Washington), a fellow activist he used to love who was also married to the man Marcus is said to have betrayed. As Marcus wrestles with the shadows of another era, he's shadowed by Jimmy (Amari Cheatom), Patricia's disturbed and homeless cousin who still believes in the Panthers' cause. Featuring an original score by the Roots, NIGHT CATCHES US received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Jamie Hector, Wendell Pierce, Jamara Griffin
"[I]ntellectually ambitious...all the more notable for setting well-drawn fictional characters in a fraught, real moment in civil rights history." -- Grade: B+
"[I]t's clear Hamilton wants to reach beyond the arthouse to people who've experienced stories like hers first hand." -- Grade: B
"This film, which was written and directed by Tanya Hamilton, merits admiration as an ambitious debut feature..."
Wall Street Journal
"Ms. Hamilton tells a modest, complex story with admirable clarity and nuance. That her film is so quiet, so evidently invested in contemplation rather than confrontation, gives it power as well as insight."
New York Times
3 stars out of 4 -- "The film leads to no showy conclusion, no spectacular climax. It is about movement possible within the soul even in difficult times."
"It's a small independent film that believes you can mix the personal and the political to potent effect....NIGHT CATCHES US manages to be both pertinent and dramatically persuasive."
Los Angeles Times
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his intelligent, emotional drama should resonate strongly with fans of character-driven stories and those interested in tales of American political struggle."
"Washington is well cast as the clipped, deflective den mother..."
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