So I watched the film ‘All Day and a Night’ and it was an interesting film. I thought the acting was on point from Ashton Sanders cast as Jahkor and the racially ambiguous Jeffrey Wright also did a capable job portraying his father, varying range from his role as Peoples in ‘Shaft’.
Joe Robert Cole (writer and director) creates an engaging film worth seeing and I feel that the story addresses a number of the struggles that African-American men face and illustrates how they can be driven into a incarceration when they are initially trying to do the right thing.
While I feel the downward spiral of Jahkor happens super quick I don’t doubt this is the case for many African-American men who end up products of the system. I feel that what Cole was doing in this film was humanizing the experience of African-American men and articulating it in a way that it really hasn’t been on film with the exception of a film such as ‘Fruitvale Station’.
One of the biggest takeaways I got was that Jahkor had all the opportunity in the world but didn’t have any positive influences. If his father played by Jeffery Wright hadn’t been a drug addict, or he had better friends then his drug dealing pal TQ, or got some investment in his music career, Jahkor could have found a better path. Which is the case for many African-American men who end up incarcerated.
Jahkor is facing a world of issues such as the insecurity he faces because of having a girlfriend Shantaye who has been “smutted” out on camera who he loves and has gotten her pregnant. All this is going on in Jahkor’s world and he really doesn’t have the positive mentorship to help steer him in the right direction. He ends up incarcerated like his father and it’s possible that the cycle will continue with his own child.