29 Days Of Black History – Day 16: Night Catches Us

Release Date:   1/23/10
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  R
Director:   Tanya Hamilton
Studio(s):  SimonSays Entertainment, Gigantic Pictures, Magnolia Pictures.
Running Time:  90 mins.

Cast:  Kerry Washington (Patricia), Anthony Mackie (Marcus), Jamie Hector (DoRight Miller), Wendell Pierce (David Gordon), Amari Cheatom (Jimmy Dixon), Tariq Trotter (Bostic Washington), Novella Nelson (Eloise), Thomas Roy (Old Man Harrison), Ron Simons (Carey Ford).

Story:  In 1976 former Black Panther Marcus, returns to his Philadelphia neighborhood to attend his father’s funeral. Marcus has been away for several years, part of the time spent in prison on gun running charges and part spent wandering the country.  Marcus has a reputation for having snitched on a fellow Panther which led to his death when the police tried to arrest him. Marcus’s former friend DoRight, now a local gangster, and Marcus’s brother Bostic, a Black Muslim, are especially displeased by his return.

However, Patricia, the widow of the slain Panther, is more welcoming. She is now a lawyer and lives with her daughter Iris in the same house where her husband was killed. Her younger cousin Jimmy struggles to make a living with odd jobs, and becomes more enamored of the Panthers after being harassed by the police. Increasingly hostile to the police, he becomes involved when some men sent by DoRight shoot out the back window of a police car.

Meanwhile, although no one else can understand it, Patricia grows closer to Marcus and when he is kicked out of his brother’s home she invites him to stay with her, citing that he will be a positive male influence for her daughter. When Iris grows curious about what happened to her father, Patricia tearfully explains how he had murdered a police officer in retaliation for the killing of two Panthers. She explains that the police arrested her and Marcus tells Iris that he told them where her father was in order to save Patricia from going to jail and keep Iris out of the foster care system.

Wanting to hold DoRight responsible for the shooting of the police car, but lacking evidence, police officer David Gordon orders Marcus to plant a gun in DoRight’s bar so they can arrest him. Marcus is reluctant, but Gordon insists, threatening to reveal to the neighborhood that it was actually Patricia who had informed on her husband’s location and that Marcus had taken the heat for her. Marcus goes to DoRight’s bar but refuses to plant the gun.

Meanwhile, Jimmy, who has bought a gun and decked himself out in Panther style beret and jacket, approaches the cop who had harassed him earlier, and shoots him. Jimmy flees to his cousin’s house, but when the police show up outside she forces him to leave. Later, the police find Jimmy hiding in a wooded area and shoot him. After this, Marcus asks Patricia to leave Philly with him and put the past behind her. She refuses, and he leaves alone.  Source(s):  Wikipedia; IMDB; Hollywood.com; Listal.com.

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