New American Cinema | 2018 | 95 minutes

Stranger Says:

It took winning a Tony Award for his dual roles as the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical phenomenon Hamilton for Daveed Diggs to get his long-gestating dream project to the big screen. It was worth the wait. Blindspotting is timely, explosive, poetic, and provocative. In rapidly gentrifying Oakland, Collin (Diggs) is trying to survive his last three days of probation when the slightest infraction will send him back to jail. He is also trying to make things work with his ex-girlfriend and keep his job. However, his best friend Miles (Rafael Casal) is white, wild, and reckless. Collin should avoid Miles, but he doesn’t. While trying to get home before curfew late one night, he witnesses a rogue cop pursue and shoot a fleeing black man. This sets in motion a chain of events that spirals out of control. (CARL SPENCE)

SIFF Says:

Just three days from the end of his parole, Oakland citizen Collin (Tony Award-winner Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”) is just trying to get through the day without getting into trouble, knowing one false step could drop him back in jail. But hanging with his reckless childhood friend Miles (spoken word artist Raphael Casal, “Def Poetry”) doesn’t make that task any easier. The pair work together as movers, complaining about their situation while recognizing their city’s changing scene, often breaking out into freestyle as their characters’ fierce passion for hip-hop underlines the narrative. Each night, Miles pushes Collin into more law traverse situations he’d rather avoid, a dynamic that simmers through their friendship and slowly pushing them to a ferocious yet humanizing confrontation. Both Diggs and Casal, who also co-wrote the film, are Oakland natives, weaving semi-autobiographical storylines to deliver a funny yet harshly sincere film that expertly incorporates meditations on class and race. BLINDSPOTTING is an absorbing look at East Bay life with all-too-real implications about living in a rapidly gentrifying city, a thrilling buddy comedy in a world that won’t let it be one.

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Film Credits
Carlos López Estrada
Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ethan Embry
SIFF 2018