ABFF 2013 Review: ‘The Suspect’ Explores Race Relations in Unpredictable Thriller

June 25, 2013

The Suspect was conceived two years ago by Stuart Connelly, author who co-authored the Martin Luther King, Jr. biography Behind The Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation.

Connelly’s first feature film, which premiered over the weekend at the 2013 American Black Film Festival, stars Mekhi Phifer and Sterling K. Brown as two social scientists who infiltrate a small midwestern town in order to explore law enforcement’s racism and bigotry in the isolated rural area.

A black man robs a bank in the small town. Phifer’s character is seen walking along the side of the road. He is stopped and arrested soon after, and brought into a cell for questioning regarding the robbery. The general interrogation style, which is being recorded, is obvious indication of racial profiling. The word “boy” is thrown about; the officials perception of “you all look alike” is readily apparent, and the sheriffs are more keen on securing a conviction than seeking real evidence and fair witness identification. After all, there is no evidence linking “the suspect” to the robbery.

Since this is an experiment (we don’t find out right away), the suspect buys time and almost plays along, egging on the officials for more proof of plain bigotry in order to justify the experiment.

While watching, I questioned the plausibility of such experiment; but it’s a film, and its hypothetical premise allowed for some peculiar and interesting exploration of race dynamics. Although, such dynamics may be apparent and/or not subtle: racist law officials trying to convict innocent black men, the latter who, are educated professionals playing the race card. Yet, as the film progresses, the mystery heightens and clues to what’s really behind this experiment are slowly revealed.

Without giving much away, our suspect’s partner, played by Brown, is in charge of returning the money to the bank, come back to the station and clear the suspect. They have gotten away with this experiment once before. However, things go awry when Brown’s character doesn’t return, and the suspect is forced to come clean – well sort of – to the officials, and along with them, the suspect must now find his partner.

I only wish the real motive behind the experiment would have been unveiled relatively earlier in the film. There are plenty of flashbacks; but one may grow frustrated, especially during once scene while the suspect is telling his partner about a plan. He’s watching something on a projector, which clearly has him distraught.

However, the modestly-produced Suspect catapults into a big unexpected climax towards and at the very end of the film. Nothing is what it seems, and our black scientists may not be so *heroic* after all. The unique thriller has plenty of twists and turns, and succeeds with its unpredictability. It’s also a film you may ponder upon and appreciate more once it’s over, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Support SKB’s New Film “The Suspect”

June 19, 2013

Sterling’s new film The Suspect is receiving lots of press this week. It will make its debut tomorrow with a repeat performance on Saturday at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). ABFF opens today in Miami, FL and lasts through Sunday. Sterling is nominated (along with costar Mekhi Phifer) for Best Actor. The film is nominated for 5 awards in the festival including Best Feature, Director and Screenplay. Awards will be presented on Sunday.

Now is your chance to help The Suspect. They have started a kickstarter campaign HERE to help raise funds to get the film in as many screens as possible. In return for donations, they are offering some very unique rewards including tickets to advance screening, shirts, autographed pics/scripts and clothing worn in the film by main cast. Take a look at The Suspect trailer below and spread the word.

Added “Army Wives” 07×13 Captures and Video Clips

June 10, 2013

This is Sterling’s final episode of the series. Added 47 captures of Army Wives Episode 07×13. 5 Video clips were added HERE. We will miss you Sterling and Wendy!

Sterling Nominated for Best Actor at American Black Film Festival

June 09, 2013

Congratulations to Sterling for his nomination of Best Actor at the ABFF for his role in The Suspect! The film’s Mekhi Phifer also received a nomination for Best Actor. The film was nominated for Best Narrative Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay. You can find out more about the film at www.suspectthemovie.com . Check out Sterling in the trailer below:

Duchenne Gala 2013

June 06, 2013

I added 4 photos of Sterling at the Duchenne Gala 2013 on May 11th, in Culver City, California.

Added “Army Wives” Episode 07×09 Captures and Video Clips

May 06, 2013

Roland has returned! Added 73 Captures of Army Wives Episode 07×09. 5 Video clips have been added HERE.

Added Stills of Roland’s Return Next Week to “Army Wives”

April 30, 2013

Added 4 stills of next week’s Army Wives episode “Blood and Treasure”. Roland (SKB) returns in this episode. Army Wives is on Sundays on Lifetime at 9/8C.

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