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Brother to Brother (2004)

Cast: Anthony Mackie, Anthony Mackie, Roger Robinson, more...
Director: Rodney Evans, Rodney Evans
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Wolfe Video
Genre: Drama, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Time Travel, Gay & Lesbian, Features
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: English

The feature-film debut of filmmaker Rodney Evans, who wrote and produced in addition to taking on directing duties, Brother to Brother explores the life and struggles of black, gay artists in the present and past. Anthony Mackie stars as Perry Williams, a young man dealing with the strife involved with being both African-American and a homosexual in contemporary New York. He is shunned by his father for his sexual identity and wary of being viewed as a sell-out by black peers when his work gains a white audience. When Williams meets an aging poet who was involved in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s, he suddenly finds himself transported back in time and cavorting with the likes of Langston Hughes (Daniel Sunjata) and Zora Neale Hurston (Aunjanue Ellis). Among such legends, Williams is able to gain perspective about his own life. Also starring Roger Robinson and Larry Gilliard Jr., Brother to Brother screened in competition at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

To Be Gay, Gifted & Black by talltale June 19, 2005 - 8:48 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
"It's wonderful to see Anthony Mackie in something beside Spike Lee's crass and stupid "She Hate Me." BROTHER TO BROTHER makes me want to see more of Mackie, as well as the rest of its fine cast, even though I wasn't overly impressed with the film as a whole. It scoots back and forth in time between the Harlem area then and now (and sometimes interestingly fudges the line between eras), introducing us to the lights of the literary establishment and then watching them interact with each other.

Trouble is, I never found out much more than I already knew about these people, and that was not enough to make me care about them as individuals, rather than the pasteboard "stances" and "soapboxing" that are shown here. Most of the time is spent on the men's sexuality and how difficult it was/is to be gay and black. As true as that is/was, more focus, with a stronger perspective, might have helped. Instead the movie glides over and around most of its issues--sexual, political, economic--letting you know how important these are without bringing them sufficiently to life. I'm glad I saw "Brother to Brother"; there isn't that much available--movie-wise--on th subject so it's a worthwhile start.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.97)
32 Votes
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