By Aiyonna White, Contributor
Driving While Black is a dark comedy which follows Dimitri, a young black man living in Los Angeles, as he is harassed by the LAPD while trying to get to a job interview. While the film will be in theatres on February 1st, it has already won 32 film festivals internationally and in the U.S. Watch the trailer below:
Director Paul Sapiano describes the film as “rooted deeply in reality… but not a reality that everybody is familiar with,”. Driving While Black explores the relationship between the LAPD and the people of color living in Los Angeles. Using the real life experiences of lead actor and writer Dominique Purdy, the film shows several instances of police officers abusing their power. Additionally, the film takes lengths to humanize the officers and recognize the struggle of well-meaning cops in the city, where the relationship between the public and the police is uneasy, to say the least.
Driving While Black is a comedy with the uncomfortably realistic elements that come with discussing police brutality. There is a particular run-in with the police which happens when Dimitri is twelve that made me furious. There were also times where I laughed out loud, which is unusual for me. I have to note that the movie is happily diverse. Los Angeles is accurately represented.
I encourage everyone to view Driving While Black for a witty and genuine depiction of the struggle black people face behind the wheel. Information regarding showtimes can be found here.