“Everything about being indie is tied to not being black,” says Micah (Wyatt Cenac), half of the accidental kind-of couple whose one-day romance is chronicled in “Medicine for Melancholy.” He is making an observation — and also registering a complaint — about the quasi-bohemian way of life he shares with Jo’ (Tracey Heggins), his temporary other half. It bothers Micah that their embrace of the folkways of urban hipsterism seems to require the suppression of their African-American identity.
But his words, which Jo’ doesn’t quite agree with, also suggest a degree of self-awareness, and self-questioning, on the part of Barry Jenkins, who wrote and directed this small, incisive film. Most recent movies about culturally savvy, affectless 20-somethings hooking up and being cool are very much tied to not being black. They are about diffident, underemployed white boys and the women who (sometimes inexplicably) go to bed with them. Continue reading
Taken from NY Mag
His 2003 short My Josephine is a lovely, impressionistic look at an Arab man and woman who work in a laundromat, washing American flags for free. That may make it sound like a Message Movie, but it’s not. Told from the perspective of the lovelorn male in this relationship, this is a quiet, unassumingly lyrical film, shot with the kind of detail that reveals both the director’s understanding of human nature and his keen eye for evocative imagery. Continue reading
Barry’s BFA thesis film.
Barry Jenkins is a filmmaker born and raised in the inner-city of Miami. After completing a bachelor’s degrees in film and creative writing, he relocated to Los Angeles where he worked as a director’s assistant and development associate for Harpo Films. Barry currently resides in San Francisco, working for the rent check by day and writing, writing and writing by night. He is the writer-director of the short films My Josephine and Little Brown Boy. Medicine For Melancholy is his first feature film. Continue reading