BROTHER TO BROTHER is a feature length narrative film which follows the emotional and psychological journey of a young Black gay artist as he discovers the hidden legacies of the gay and lesbian subcultures within the Harlem Renaissance. It explores the life and struggles of black, gay artists in the present and past.
Perry is thrown out of his house by his family when they find he is gay. As he struggles to hold on by working in a homeless shelter and trying to maintain a college scholarship, he is haunted by his homosexuality and becomes increasingly withdrawn due to his family's rejection. One day an elderly man randomly stops next to Perry and his friend, recites a poem and leaves. In his library research for a class project, Perry finds a book about the Harlem Renaissance and recognizes a poem as the same one that the elderly man was reciting. They encounter each other again at the homeless shelter where Perry works. He confronts Bruce about who he is and begins to ask him about the Harlem Renaissance. They go on a literal and metaphorical journey to the house that was known as "Niggeratti Manor" which was the creative center for the younger, rebellious generation of the Harlem Renaissance as they created their revolutionary literary journal, "Fire!". Although the house is now dilapidated, we are transported through the landscape of Bruce's memories of the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance. Perry learns about the lives and personalities of Bruce's friends and sees how they became a surrogate family for Bruce. Recognizing this era as his history, Perry sees the pride that Bruce exuded in those times in terms of being Black, gay and unashamed. As the story progresses, we witness the transformative power that they have on each other’s lives through their shared passion for art and storytelling.
Th beauty of this film lied in the transitions between present and past and although things have changed, but its still a long way to go. What I did not understand clearly was why would Perry reject his white friend's love since he was just being honest. This film deals more with history and issues rather than being one of the run of a mill gay love stories.
Watch it for this one is truly different. (6/10)
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