Pass Over (2018)


Directed by Spike Lee
Country: USA

Spike Lee’s unconventional storytelling and theatrical dramatization go beyond the cinematic, yet mixed feelings may arise from viewers who peek at his latest work, “Pass Over”. The film intends to elucidate audiences about the sad reality experienced by the African American community in the US.
Having Antoinette Nwandu’s story as the source, Lee literally films a play where two young black men, Kitch (Julian Parker) and Moses (Jon Michael Hill), captivate our attention for nearly 75 minutes, showing us some abominable truths captured by a competent and nimble camerawork.

Although a bit reluctant during the first minutes, I was completely involved in the conversations and misadventures of the friends, who hang in the corner of E 64th St and King Drive in Chicago. Lee shot the film in this city at the Steppenwolf Theater.

Instinctively throwing themselves on the ground whenever a noise is heard, these men are victims of the white men's prejudice, and their top 10 Promised Land game means just their dreams flowing, misleading the emptiness of their stomachs and the general unhappiness of life.


Their tete-a-tete is disturbed by a well-groomed white folk named Mister (Ryan Hallahan), who was heading to his mother’s house. He carries a basket replete with food and wears a white suit and red bowtie, having a constant smile on his face. Despite apparently harmless, the discomfort in the black folks becomes inevitable - is he a Mormon, a policeman, or a gangster? After an interesting conversation about the ’N’ word, he leaves pacifically, giving his place to an aggressive white cop, Ossifer (Blake DeLong), who only asks two quick questions: ‘who are you?’, ‘you going somewhere?’. The former is self-answered with ‘stupid, lazy, violent, thug’, while in regard to the latter, a ‘nowhere, sir’, uttered by one of the men, seemed to get the intolerant satisfied.

This dangerous game takes a U-turn, becoming a tragicomic manifesto that attempts to denounce the racial inequalities that keep infecting our world. Spike Lee did it artistically explicit.