Jay-Z Producer – A Netflix Documentary
Jay-Z is making a name for himself as a movie producer, most recently releasing a Western film with Idris Elba, Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz. He also created the movie’s soundtrack.
Netflix’s jeen-yuhs is a revealing glimpse into Kanye West’s genius—for the first two-thirds of the docuseries, at least. The final third of the film shows the mercurial rapper’s adoration for Donald Trump and his public disputes with friends like John Legend and Kid Cudi.
The Harder They Fall
Director Jeymes Samuel, who remixes his favorite influences into the picture like Fulani hoop earrings and Antoinette Messam’s rich costume design, knows high style is its own form of substance. And while the film’s climactic burst of grindhouse violence may feel a bit heightened, it does help to keep this version of history on solid ground.
Jonathan Majors is the movie’s star, a gunslinger with a gung-ho swagger that helps to animate his character’s cool bloodlust. But he’s not the only one, as Oscar nominee Lakeith Stanfield turns in another electrifying performance as unpredictable gunslinger Cherokee Bill.
Together, these ruthless cowboys form the Nat Love Gang, and they’re hell-bent on avenging Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), who killed Nat’s family. The Harder They Fall offers a distinct vision of Western iconography while expanding what the genre can be, even if it doesn’t always deliver on its promise to subvert the genre. It does, however, offer a compelling story.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
This film is all about Jimmie Fails and his struggle to reclaim the Victorian house that was built by his grandfather. While the city continues to change, he is still hoping to reclaim the home that was left behind for him. The movie is based on a true story and is a touching movie that captures the spirit of San Francisco.
A Sundance award winner, this Joe Talbot-directed film lays bare the gentrification that has turned its back on many of San Francisco’s most devoted residents. The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a delicate ode to the city’s artists, squatters, and other misfits.
The film stars Jesse Williams, Rosario Dawson, and LaKeith Stanfield. Though Jay-Z is credited as a producer, he didn’t act in the film. He was also a music consultant for the Baz Luhrmann 2013 remake of The Great Gatsby. In addition, he has also produced various other films and television shows.
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
Rest in Power tells the compelling arc of how one family s tragedy became a catalyst for social change. The alternating narratives of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin reveal how their son s death on a Florida street became the match that lit a nationwide movement for justice.
Like “rest in peace,” the phrase “rest in power” can be used to memorialize the dead and encourage activists to continue the fight. But unlike the latter, it tends to evoke a sense of injustice in the context of deaths that occur as a result of racial violence.
That may be why the phrase is most closely associated with the spate of killings of black people by police and vigilantes that rocked America in 2014—and catapulted phrases like Black Lives Matter and Rest In Power to national prominence. The story of how this happened is the subject of a 2018 documentary series. Rest in Power chronicles the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, whose death by George Zimmerman sparked nationwide protests and launched the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Life of Kalief Browder
Kalief Browder, a 16-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested for stealing a backpack and ended up spending three years on Rikers Island without ever having his case heard. He was never convicted of a crime, but the experience traumatized him and led to repeated suicide attempts.
After his story was featured in the New York Times, an anonymous donor paid for Browder’s tuition at Bronx Community College and he seemed to thrive. But his mental health continued to deteriorate, and he ultimately took his own life in 2015.
The documentary features interviews with his mother Venida Browder, who became a prominent advocate for prison reform. It also highlights the work of artist Coby Kennedy, who created an eight-by-ten-by-six-foot sculpture that replicates a Rikers Island solitary confinement cell. The piece is intended to highlight the powerlessness that people feel when they are incarcerated or subjected to harsh jail conditions. It’s now on display at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works.