Mississippi Damned
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Mississippi Damned

USA, 2009, 120 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Black / African American, Butch / Femme Issues, Drama, Drugs / Addiction, Lesbian, Parenting / Family, Violence
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Tina Mabry

Based on true events and spanning between 1986 and 1998, Mississippi Damned follows three young African Americans in the rural south as they suffer through the devastating cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse. Leigh is a bull dyke with an unhealthy, and long-lasting, obsession with her girlfriend. Sammy gives up his youth, innocence and body for a shot at his basketball dreams. Kari, the most promising of the three, has aspirations to attend New York University to further develop her musical talents, but fights to keep her head above water as her relatives and circumstances drag her down.

This captivating drama takes the viewer through his or her own internal conflict: you want the characters to catch a damn break already, but you almost don’t want to give them a chance to mess up another opportunity. Each well-written individual is raw and genuine, with hidden complexities and agendas, which is rare for an ensemble cast. Jossie Thacker’s Charlie is especially tragic and haunting, as a woman whose own dark past demands forgiveness for her inability to be a better mother.

Under writer-director Tina Mabry’s delicate touch, no plot twists feel forced, even when coming out of left field. Yet, the most predictable of actions leaves you blindsided. With the intimacy of handheld camera work, Mississippi Damned is a film that is both compelling and heartbreaking. — ANGELIQUE SMITH

Text Voting Code: F109

Copresented by

Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project and Women of Color Resource Center

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