“‘The 24th’: Kevin Willmott’s Film About The Horrific 1917 Houston Riot Needs To Dig Deeper”

I admit I felt a little weird writing about The 24th, and I still feel weird about it in the rear view. How does a white critic go about the task of explaining how a black writer, one like Kevin Willmott*, should tell the story of the 1917 Houston riot? It kinda feels like I’m punching above my weight class. I did my best.

So, I didn’t hate The 24th. I like the cast. (Not noted in my review: Mykelti Williamson and Bashir Salahuddin, who both put in primo work here in their supporting roles.) And I liked the spotlight on history. But I can’t wrap my head around the storytelling, the way that the film softshoes the event at its center with conventions that work against what the film needs to do.

You can read my full review over at The Playlist.


*Incidentally, I do feel like The 24th makes a compelling companion piece to Da 5 Bloods, in case you’ve yet to see that.

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