Its 11:44 am
The year is 1945 and World War Two has ended. In South Carolina,a young Negro soldier walks into a in diner on a mission to honor a request from his father. Lt. Marcus Washington thought he had fought the enemy in Europe but now he faces a bigger one in his own country….
“Rolling In the Deep” is a 12 minute long short film written,directed and produced by young and talented Marcellus Cox that addresses the bigotry that many African-American soldiers,sailors and airmen faced when coming home to a country where they risked their lives to defend.
Watching this story unfold reminded me of a episode of the History Channel series called “Dogfights” called “The Tuskegee Airmen” where one of the fighter pilots who fought Nazi Germany along with white aircrews recalled coming home on a troop ship.
These brave men who served with honor and courage disembarked from these ships only to be greeted with “Whites Here” and “Colored Here”. They were good enough to risk all over there but became 2nd class citizens coming home.
The same outrage I felt watching that is the same in “Rolling In the Deep”.
Watching Cox’s story of Lt. Washington (an excellent Stephen Cofield,Jr.) who only wants to fufill a request of his father is a powerful piece of filmmaking. The dignity and respect that Washington deserves yet is denied solely based on his skin color speaks even more loudly because here in 2019,not only are we still doing this but we are headed BACK to open discrimination. The lessons painfully learned have been revised,removed and redacted from our history.
The cast is stellar and I can see why Samuel Whitehill is proud of this film even though I know he had to hate the words on the script,hate knowing this wasn’t entirely a piece of fiction. His Horace Sherman is spot on and proves that not only is bigotry learned by blind hate but be unlearned by courage and honor. Sinead Sommers plays Esther Sherman,Horace’s wife. While she appears hostile,its clear that Esther knows what they are doing is wrong and she is uncomfortable with how her husband is treating the young soldier.
Tim Garland’s haunting “Music For While” is the perfect piece for this tale. The trumpet is slow and forlorn,it sets the right mood for a film whose message needs to taught yet again.
This is the first work I have watched from Marcellus Cox but the good news is he has made 15 other short films that I intend to find and watch. He has shown he is ready to handle a feature film project and I hope that day comes very,very soon.
This is definitely one of the best films I have seen this year I give it two thumbs up.