USA, 2009, 90 minutes
Fri, Apr 30 / 4:15 / Kabuki / NIGH30K
Mon, May 03 / 6:30 / Kabuki / NIGH03K
Wed, May 05 / 9:00 / Kabuki / NIGH05K
An original soundtrack by The Roots fuels this riveting look at love and rage in a bell-bottomed, Black-Powered 1970s Philadelphia, as a former activist returns home to suspicion, racial tension and more. It’s the summer of 1976 in not-so-sunny Philadelphia, and ex–Black Panther Marcus (Anthony Mackie) has returned to bury his minister father. While some are happy to see him, others are not so sure, even (or especially) his former comrades and friends, who accuse him of betraying the movement. One of the few to accept him is Patricia (Kerry Washington), a woman whose husband may have been the very one betrayed by Marcus. Her strung-out cousin Jimmy (Amari Cheaton), however, is not so forgiving. Soon the entire neighborhood must face the violence of the past, or risk reliving it. Vividly realized by a stellar cast that also includes Jamie Hector and Wendell Pierce, Night Catches Us delves deep into a seldom glimpsed, highly complex part of the nation’s history, the African American political and cultural empowerment struggle of the 1970s. Winning widespread acclaim at its recent Sundance premiere, particularly for the outstanding performances from Mackie and Washington, director Tanya Hamilton’s period film brings to life the intelligence, depth and activism of this Philadelphia community with the meticulous care and respect that it deserves, fashioning a tale that is part love story, part political drama and part cultural critique.
Presented in association with Museum of the African Diaspora. New Directors Prize Contender.