A friend of mine recently introduced me to a film called Medicine for Melancholy, released in 2008 a feature film debut written and directed by Barry Jenkins. Being a self proclaimed film enthusiast I was quite embarrassed that I had not seen or even heard about a film about two young black people (both cyclists) who became involved after having a one-night stand with a super cool indie sound track! What ignorant rock have I been living under?
As soon as I got home I rummaged the Internet and ordered the DVD. The following weekend I got to know Micah comfortably played by comedian Wyatt Cenac and Jo brought to life by beauty Tracey Heggins. The opening scene shows both Micah and Jo waking up and then brushing their teeth with their fingers. You soon realise they had a drunken one night stand after meeting at a hipster San Francisco party and the film follows the two spending the weekend together.
If you’re looking for a feel good all African American film starring Sanaa Lathan or Madea’s cross dressing antics then stay away from this film.
A lot of film makers lack style and flare however Jenkins did a superb job at capturing the culture and beauty of the ever gentrifying San Francisco. Many have dubbed this film as a love story where I do not see it like that at all. I found it to be quite bleak at expressing a view point that women of ethnic backgrounds are no longer waiting around for their male counterparts to find love. Especially in a city like San Francisco where the Black population was only 7% and has gone on to decine to 3.9%. I would hate to give too much away about the film if you haven’t seen it however I must say I found it very modern, accurate and honest as it doesn’t even attempt to have a happy ending.
Whilst the film is not perfect there is something special about the naturalistic style that is quite compelling and on a $13,000 budget overall looked beautiful making Jenkins an important director to watch.