|SEE YOU YESTERDAY (director/writer: Stefon Bristol; screenwriter: Fredrica Bailey; cinematographer: Felipe Vara de Rey; editor: Jennifer Lee; music: Michael Abels; cast: Eden Duncan-Smith (Claudette 'CJ' Walker), Danté Crichlow (Sebastian Thomas), Brian “Stro” Bradley (Calvin), Marsha Stephanie Blake (Phaedra Walker), Astro (Calvin Walker), Johnathan Nieves (Eduardo), Wavyy Jonez (Dennis Owens), Myra Lucretia Taylor (Gloria Thomas), Ron Bobb Semple (Grand-Parent of Sebastian); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Spike Lee; Netflix; 2019)|
sci-fi adventure tale."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The debut feature of short film director Stefon Bristol is this entertaining teenager sci-fi adventure tale. Fredrica Bailey is co-writer with Bristol. Spike Lee is the producer. It tells the story of the East Flatbush, Brooklyn high school best friends and science mavens Claudette C.J. Walker (Eden Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian (Danté Crichlow), who spend their free time in the family garage of Sebastian trying to invent a backpack for space travel (which is viewed as an educational hobby).
C.J.s older 19-year-old brother Calvin (Astro) dies after an altercation with the racist police over a mistaken robbery stop. This inspires the teen inventors to finish their time machines, one for each back pack, in the hope they can alter the past and save Calvin from the costly social justice incident.
The film takes the black point of view that it's more likely that blacks will suffer abuse from the police than whites. Though the film follows a Disney-like formulaic sci-fi story, it also brings into play the harsh realities of confrontation with insensitive cops in contemporary America.
Bristol wants us to know that if we cannot change the past, at least those in the present can change things for now by freeing themselves of all the bad actions that brought shame back then. He reminds us we don't need improbable inventions to make the world better, just a better attitude.
REVIEWED ON 5/1/2019 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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