This week’s recommendation is 1920’s “Within Our Gates,” written and directed by Oscar Micheaux.
“Within Our Gates” is an exceptional statement on the times in which it was produced, and not only is it irreplaceable as a snapshot from the past (no pun intended), but it includes many themes that are still very relevant today. It follows Sylvia Landry, a woman who must deal with everyday obstacles that profoundly affect her both personally and professionally. Sylvia has a lot of great layers to her, and the story unfolds in directions you don’t expect, using many different elements that hold very well together.
While an entertaining story on its own, featuring numerous characters and situations that are interesting to watch for a variety of reasons, “Within Our Gates” organically and matter-of-factly weaves in numerous larger, very intelligent points—more inherently complex and educated than your average movie statements—that drive the plot and characters while at the same time making you think in an uninterrupted way about the world around you. It doesn’t bog things down and doesn’t feel preachy with its very real importance, even though it very easily could have been.
Overall, it’s the perfect pace—an old-fashioned story with a lot of heart, covering numerous themes yet clocking in at under 80 minutes.
And that’s a good movie night.
After all that, if you still need something retro to satisfy your movie appetite until next week, check out my previous recommendations:
Let me know what you think of this week’s recommendation and stay tuned!
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