Black Independents, Vol. 1, February 2020

Medicine for Melancholy

Opens Feb 17, 2020

MON, FEB 17 & THURS, FEB 20 at 7 PM

Well before Moonlight, a then-unknown Barry Jenkins crafted a film in 15 days for $15k with a then-unknown, two-person cast. Marketed as a Black Mumblecore, and with only a brief run in theaters, Jenkins' debut went largely unnoticed, yet, it became a prototype for a new wave of black film and inspired a generation of idiosyncratic auteurs. Medicine for Melancholy is a twenty-four-hour glimpse at the potential relationship of two young San Franciscans dealing with the conundrum of being a minority in a rapidly gentrifying city. —TR

"It's interesting to watch Medicine for Melancholy years after its theatrical release because its core issues are arguably more timely now than ever in the age of #BlackLivesMatter, and as America slowly learns that a black president never guaranteed a post-racial society." —Vikram Murthi, Indiewire

"Medicine was proof of the concept." —JUSTIN SIMIEN

"Ava DuVernay literally handed me a DVD of it, like it was Nas's first mixtape or something." —LENA WAITHE

"I had never seen anything depicting that world, that pocket of black life. It startled me in a way. I remember walking out of the theater and literally saying out loud to myself, 'OK, I can do this.'" —TERENCE NANCE

"I think if Medicine for Melancholy didn't exist, all these people would've still gone on to do the same things that they did. But, when I take a step back, I think I also understand that because it existed, it gave them just a little bit more confidence that when they did what they were going to do, there would be a place for it." —BARRY JENKINS