August the First



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 221

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 17, 2021 at 11:04 PM



747.08 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by NJtoTX 10 / 10

Terrific film!

I had the pleasure of seeing August the First at SXSW this week. Of the 20 plus films I've seen at the festival, this has been the best. I'm still emotional about it.

This is an intense, heartbreaking family drama with an excellent script and stellar acting performances. But there's nothing over-the-top or exaggerated. Tunde's graduation party becomes the scene of a reunion, unwanted by all but Tunde, with a father who had abandoned his family 10 years earlier, moved to Nigeria, and started a new family there.

I really got to know these characters. I was particularly impressed with Joy Merriweather as Tunde's mother Rhonda, drinking to try to alleviate her pain and resentment, and by Kerisse Hutchinson as Simisola, the daughter who can't forget. Oh, and by Sean Phillips as big brother Ade and Ian Alsup as the idealistic Tunde. Oh, and by Dennis Rubin Green as the father, and by everyone else as well.

I really hope this makes it to general release and DVD.

Reviewed by eplromeo8 2 / 10

August the First on Reel 13

AUGUST THE FIRST, the Reel 13 Indie from September 13th, is problematic right from the get go. It's hard to dig your teeth into early on, particularly because the characters come at you fast and furious, introduced without any real establishing. I appreciate the attempt at efficiency, but without getting some sense of the characters we are dealing with (and their relationship to one another), nothing has any resonance and it's hard to follow what's going on. It's almost as if the first thirty minutes of the film are awash.

Eventually, the intelligent, careful viewer will start to understand the characters, their desires and motivations. By then, we are knee deep in an immature melodrama, with an accentuation on the "melo". The story revolves around the graduation party for Tunde, fresh off his college degree. For his party, Tunde surprises his family by inviting his estranged father from Africa to the party. The family is not pleased and then, yelling and tears naturally ensue. The way that director Lanre Olabisi piles on the pain causes the film to depart from the world of the real (the mother is a drunk and recovering from breast cancer, the sister is pregnant, the aunt is a slut who had an affair with the father – get my drift?). Olabisi tries to combat that by employing an ultra-shaky hand-held technique to add a vitality to the film, but it doesn't remotely mesh with the soap opera leanings of the narrative. If Olabisi wanted to tell this story, I think he needed to embrace the melodrama a la Douglas Sirk and stylize it accordingly.

Then again, CRY FUNNY HAPPY, a film that I loved, has some melodramatic elements and also uses a hand-held camera. The big difference though is the acting. In CRY FUNNY HAPPY, the actors are raw and honest. Here, they seem untrained and are mostly over-the-top and not very believable (Sean Philips and Kerisse Hutchison are the strongest members of the ensemble as the older brother and sister of Tunde). The most intriguing thing about the film is the father character, who shows up at the party unexpectedly. In spite of the actor lumbering around in the character's shoes (D. Rubin Green does not seem very comfortable in the role, particularly in terms of movement – though his accent is believable), he manages to come across as somewhat likable, even though the majority of the family distrusts him greatly. He is a very complex potential villain. His actions are interesting and seem to belie his statements and yet, his manner suggests that his intentions are pure and true. And so there is suspense in trying to determine why the father is really in town and if he really wants to reconnect. There are layers here and this is what the film needed to exploit even further.

However, as the film starts to build this interesting mystery amidst the schmaltz, it then turns around and betrays its audience by ending abruptly. I've always said that I don't need closure, but I do require an ending, if you are able to see the difference. There is not enough of a climax in AUGUST THE FIRST to earn the right to end when it did, which is just another of many amateur attributes that add up to make the film a great disappointment.

Reviewed by ronkenator 9 / 10

On the 1st of August, a graduation party brings more than anyone expected.

The film is a suburban drama that examines how a family manages to survive its past, and how that past is inextricably entwined with their future.

During a graduation party, the estranged father, Dipo, returns. Each family member deals with his return differently, and thus we see how they must have survived his initial departure. As we learn the reasons for his departure and the reasons for his return, our sympathies shift.

The film is well acted and the story unfolds itself smoothly and naturally, without resorting to exposition. It is refreshing to see a dramatic film about African Americans that veers from stereotypes.

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