Free songs

George Washington (2000)


george washington film reviewIt’s refreshing to see a film that features mostly African American characters that isn’t about race issues. Not that I don’t think race issues are important but films that address them have become somewhat formulaic. There are black and white characters in this film, mostly kids, and they all behave as if they were color blind. The white adults in the film all seem to be a little goofy which led me to suspect that the director was African American and poking fun at white people but the director is a white man from Arkansas, David Gordon Green. He reportedly watched Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line several times while preparing to shoot this film. The cinematography is certainly beautiful and the pace leisurely.

At times it’s difficult what to make of this film. It doesn’t fit readily into any formulas – coming of age, racial tensions, after school special, etc. It’s a bit like a Faulkner story, a slightly amusing portrait of a poor Southern community (in this case North Carolina). The film also has an odd Lynchian aspect that becomes more apparent as it goes along. At times the dialogue shifts from realistic to poetic. Most of the time the kids express themselves as you might expect a teenager to speak but there are a couple instances when characters deliver soliloquies that are almost Shakespearean . It seems to me that Green, who also wrote the screenplay, sort of made this up as he went along and hoped the results would be somehow meaningful. The results might be a bit uneven and efforts to find meaning fruitless but the film and director’s career are worth watching.

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

George Washington at imdb

George Washington is available to rent or buy on Amazon.