Author: Carlton Lula

12 YEARS A SLAVE

This searing and heartfelt portrayal of the African American slave experience is definitely more powerful than many an American director would dare attempt. Set in about the 1840s, the story follows Solomon, an affable middle-class Free Black family man from New York State. He is quite cultivated, educated and highly skilled. Solomon is accommodating, and most considerate in manner and temperament, just ripe for what awaits him.

BRAZILIAN WESTERN

BRAZILIAN WESTERN (BW), directed by Rene Sampaio, places a pulsating Brazilian-ized twist on the American western genre. In the Western narrative, usually a stranger new to town gets heat from local outlaws, faces them down, saves the town and gets the girl, then rides off into the sunset. The hero whether morally stained or morally pure, is somehow deserving of these enrichments, owing to his good deeds. Instead, BW’s main character Joao, at a young age is almost anti-heroic as a protagonist; he is at once violent, vengeful, and a thief, yet the demons that drive and curse him don’t totally consume him, as his personality is nuanced with much complexity.