Get the First Look at Footage from Ava DuVernay’s WHEN THEY SEE US

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On the night of April 19, 1989, a brutal rape occurred in Central Park, setting off a chain of events that went on to capture the nation’s attention and forever alter the lives of five teens who were wrongly accused of the crime.  Thirty years later, When They See Us highlights one of the most shocking and catalyzing instances of injustice in recent decades. Academy Award® Nominee Ava DuVernay brings the full stories of Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Jr., Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise to life as they unfold over the four part limited series.  When They See Us will be released on Netflix on May 31.

About When They See Us:

Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

When They See Us was created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts.  Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Robert De Niro from Tribeca Productions executive produced the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Array FilmWorks. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, and Michael Starrbury also served as writers on the limited series.

The series stars Emmy Award® Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award® Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award® Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award® Nominee and Emmy Award® Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award® Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award® Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award® and Grammy Award® Winner and Tony Award® Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

About the Social Impact Campaign:

Alongside the release of When They See Us, Participant Media, in collaboration with Color Of Change, Vera Institute of Justice, Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College, and The Opportunity Agenda, among others, will launch a social impact campaign aimed at supporting the work of the criminal justice reform movement. The campaign will focus on shifting perceptions of Black and Brown youth in media coverage and helping prosecutors with new approaches rooted in human dignity and racial equity. The series debuts globally on Netflix on May 31.

WHEN THEY SEE US | Official Channels

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www.netflix.com/whentheyseeus

 

Movie Review: MOONLIGHT #moonlightmovie

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I finally had a chance to watch the 2017 Oscar winning movie, Moonlight, and decided to write a short review for it. First and foremost, congratulations to all involved with this movie. It’s a subtle, yet powerful depiction of a young black male trying to find his way in the inner city of Miami, which isn’t always easy.

So many movies in our history have shown the coming of age of white teens, usually from rich families or from unconventional households that force them to decide they deserve better. What we don’t get enough of are movies like this where we see the main black character not being a bully and not holding a grudge against some higher power.

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We see a drug dealer, Juan, who is obviously not doing the right thing career wise, but he develops a friendship with this little boy, Chiron, and teaches him things that his drug-addicted mother isn’t around to teach him. Not once do we see Juan being violent or “bad” in any way. He is a strong, influential man in a great relationship who tries to guide Chiron in the right direction. He also happens to be a black Cuban man. So yes, movie watchers . . . it is possible to see a different, positive side to a black man in the inner city.

Chiron struggles with understanding his sexuality, and Juan helps him through that – free of judgment. The one thing I was disappointed with is the fact that Juan wasn’t around as long as I’d hoped. We don’t even really know what happened to him, or how it affected Chiron mentally. We only see the three crucial chapters in Chiron’s life – as a young boy, as a teenager and as a young adult seemingly following in Juan’s footsteps while continuing to try and understand his tendency to identify with homosexuality. I also wish Chiron spoke a bit more in the movie. His scenes in all three chapters were powerful in their silence, but I think there could have been a bit more dialogue without taking away from the effectiveness.

In a society where homosexuality is viewed as “a sin,” it was nice to see a child asking questions about it and having an adult answer those questions with positivity and acceptance. To be clear, this is not a movie based on “pushing the homosexual agenda.” It’s a coming of age movie about a young boy who grows up in an unconventional setting who is just trying to make his way through life despite the ups and downs. It’s an important story that isn’t told often enough.

 

SYNOPSIS: A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Director: Barry Jenkins
Writers: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Cast: Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monae, Naomie Harris, Jaden Piner, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Trevante Rhodes, Andre Holland
Genre: Drama