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Tuesday
May092017

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2017 // A REVIEW OF "SATURDAY CHURCH"

BY DANIELLE BECKMANN

SATURDAY CHURCH is a movie-musical that tells the story of Ulysses (the 17-year-old Luka Kain) who can't find community at home, church, or school, so he finds his 'church' through a weekly gathering of LGBTQ folks in the West Village. As the film progresses, we get to experience the satisfying process of Ulysses stepping into his own skin and confidence, that is, until certain family members find out. Specifically, I was shocked by the character of Aunt Rose (Regina Taylor) and her harsh lack of empathy towards her nephew. Thankfully, Ulysses' mother and little brother come to the rescue, and demonstrate the love and compassion he has desired his whole life.

I would have loved to see the musical elements of this film developed more. The light touch of music and dance created sprinkling of magic, but these components could have been utilized much more to further the story. I would call the film a "musical-lite" as I would have liked to see more commitment to these specific theatrical elements.

Although the film SATURDAY CHURCH isn't reinventing the wheel, it holds an important message. The film gives a voice to an underrepresented group of people as it sheds light on the LGBTQ experience, which many people in America do not get to see up close. Through this film I hope that more people find empathy for those who are different from them. That takeaway is enough to recommend Saturday Church far and wide.

DANIELLE'S VERDICT: SEE IT
Written and Directed by Damon Cardasis Starring Luka Kain, Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor, Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Alexia Garcia Country: USA
The Tribeca Film Festival, running April 19-30th in New York City, offers an assortment of riches when it comes to films. Documentaries, Feature Films, International Films, TV, VR technology, and more. As stated on their website, "Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, Tribeca has evolved from an annual event to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan to a gathering place for filmmakers, artists, innovators, and the global creative community." The ArtsWire Weekly has been covering the festival since 2013 and this year, Mateo Moreno and Danielle Beckmann will be our voices on from the fest.

 

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