Night Catches US
In 1976, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement.
“Night Catches Us” has got some beautiful people in it and it’s set in 1976 in the black community. Problem is that even though the people are quite lovely, everybody’s a cliche. We’ve got the Angela Davis figure who has a child, whose husband was gunned down in their house. We have the member of the Black Panthers who’s come back after mysteriously disappearing for four years, and he obviously had a crush on her this whole time. They’ve got a young Turk who has decided that he’s now part of the Vanguard, which because the Black Panthers didn’t go far enough and hates and bates cops. We’ve got the man who is a black cop, and we have Marcus’ brother who’s joined the Nation of Islam. I mean, the thing is all the characters are appealing in terms of their physiognomy and the acting isn’t bad, but it was a fairly trite movie. Still, because the actors are appealing enough to watch — I suppose if you didn’t know anything about the history of this time it might be a little more interesting to you, but it would be nice if the actual writing was more intuitive or insightful– you knew more about the characters as opposed to just being stereotypical; two and half stars.