By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Danny Glover and Lela Rochon
A white supremacist is released from prison after serving 14 years for armed robbery. A few hours later, he fatally shoots a black cop and takes a black family hostage.
Inspired by a true story that happened in early 1995 on Highway 12, west of Santa Rosa, CA., the drama unfolds through the eyes of Garrett Tully (Joe Anderson), a member of the Aryan Brotherhood who finds himself on the run just hours after getting released.
“I tried to push the envelope to allow people to know and to realize just how real racism is and how hurtful words and even uneducated can be,” says the film’s director Deon Taylor.
Defiantly personal and provocative, when we first meet Tully he’s walking through the prison gates of Pelican Bay State prison. Now a free man after serving his time in solitary confinement, he’s picked up by an Aryan Brotherhood groupie called Doreen (Dawn Oliveri). Things go awry after they are stopped by the highway patrol. Tully, now a parole has no intentions of returning to prison. He kills the officer and takes refuge in a nearby house occupied by a black family.
The family’s patriarch, Mr. Walker (Danny Glover) is a jaded ex-con who detests cops so much he disavowed his own son (Derek Luke) for becoming one. Seeing a familiar desperation in Tully, he refuses to call the authorities for help, causing familial tensions to escalate.
Also starring Evan Ross and Lela Rochon, it’s a racially charged psychological thriller. Rochon plays the matriarch, Ross has a small role as the brave son who tries to save his family and Glover clearly immersions himself in the role of a tired old ex-con Mr. Walker, but the film is really driven by Anderson’s revelatory performance. As expected, we hear many racial slurs and see many rather unpleasant incidents that’s bound to raise one’s blood pressure as Tully goes off on his hate rampage. It’s a raw, deeply felt portrait of self-loathing turned inside out.
The film takes you on a journey through the eyes of a white supremacist who truly believes that white is good and all else is evil and deftly deals with repercussions of white supremacist dogma, and race relations.
“I’m hoping that audiences find this film and understand the message: Life is what you make it and even in the darkest hour, there is still light,” shares Taylor.
“SUPREMACY” is in theaters and VODin January.
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