Barry Jenkins' Moonlight created a new wake in film for other directors to get their message out there. Jordan Peele's success continues with the release of Get Out, providing more than solid validation to black filmmakers—that we can do this too. Not only are audiences picking up on this, but so are major studios. These are not just powerful black films—they're human films.
I didn't grow up during the Blacksploitation film period, though I wish I had. I could sum up my love for it in three words: Super Fly Soundtrack. I think that's where I would find nineteen year old Dieuson Octave, a few years before transforming into Kodak Black. Somewhere lost in Curtis Mayfield's Pusher Man, in the dark of the alley that Mayfield mentions four lines in. Director Mandon Lovett's film Project Baby, captures that.
Kodak Black’s struggle isn't anything new, but what Kodak Black does with it—is. It's his transparency and honesty that aligns the senses to find the believability in his work. Lovett's documentation not only focuses on the formation of Kodak Black, but provides a solid back story of his family and the rocky road ahead of him.
Last night the film celebrated its premiere, presented by World Star Hip Hop and Atlantic Records, at the iconic Sunshine Cinema. Entry came with free popcorn and double styrofoam cups of Hennessy. Though Kodak Black couldn't make it, because of his current state of house arrest, there were cartoon cardboard standees of him on all levels of the theater. Guests were partying, listening to the new album, and taking photos with the cartoon standees, making the night—a Kodak moment.
Just a side note: No one yelled out "World Star" during my showing, though it's disrespectful to the artist, director, and audience to talk during a film . . . but c'mon. . . no one?