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January 31, 2004  

An Evening with Rodney Evans

January 31 (Monday) 7 pm - Director in Person

Brother to Brother

Directed by Rodney Evans
US, 2004, b/w and color, 90 min.
With Anthony Mackie, Roger Robinson, Larry Gilliard, Jr.

Rich in heart and intelligence, Rodney Evans' first fiction feature pays homage to art, intellectual ancestry, and the strength to persevere in the face of social injustice. Both an artistic and political achievement, Brother to Brother offers a rare glimpse of what it means to be a black, gay artist today as well as during the Harlem Renaissance, and marks Evans as a brave and unique voice in American cinema. Perry Williams is a talented young artist working and studying in New York. Art world success is knocking at his door, but Perry is afraid of "selling out" to a privileged, white world. At the same time, community and family support is elusive as he endures homophobic barbs from his black classmates, rejection by his father, and a disappointingly fetishistic relationship with his handsome white lover. Then Perry meets Bruce Nugent, a living relic, who was a poet and painter of the Harlem Renaissance, along with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Wallace Thurman. Surreal narrative turns land him in the middle of scandalous parties and dinners in 1930s Harlem, and Perry learns that his struggle is not new and what is most important is a strong self-image and a commitment to preserve truth and to nurture his artistic spirit.

This screening is co-presented with the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute of African and African American Research at Harvard University. Film description courtesy of Cinema Village.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700