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Paul Laurence Dunbar: An American Poet

USA 2021
produced by
Kane Stratton, Tim Haney (executive) for Caesar's Ford Theatre, D5 Pictures
directed by Kane Stratton
starring A. Slate, Timothy J. Cox, MyJoy Filer, Tanner James Brown
written by Kane Stratton, poem Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar, music by Umvikeli G. Scott Jones

short

review by
Mike Haberfelner

It's 1904, and the mayor of Dayton, Ohio, Snyder (Timothy J. Cox) is hell-bent on getting black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (A. Slate) as a guest speaker for his 4th of July extravaganza. But while Snyder basically wants Dunbar as a feather in his hat, Dunbar wants to use the stage given to him to bring his political message across - in a poem addressing racism even decades after the emancipation that's as powerful as it's poignant. So during a dinner at Dunbar's place to hammer out a deal, the standpoints of the two men couldn't be further apart - until Dunbar's mother uses her common sense to relieve the situation ...

 

A pretty powerful short that manages to address issues regarding racism that are relevant even today (as in more than 100 years after the events depicted in the film) and manages to do so without any spectacle, really relying on the dialogue and the actors (and one of Dunbar's poems) to drive the message home, in a very subtle yet compelling way. A film that almost certainly will get you thinking - and that's all the more worthwhile for it.

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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