|Original title:||American Refugee|
|Running time:||94 minutes|
|Release date:||09 december 2021|
It's interesting to see how much what our society is going through influences the cinema and conversely how what we are going through now allows us to see and feel a film differently. While the global pandemic of covid 19 has forever changed our lifestyles, we have to admit that director Ali LeRoi's second film (The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (2019) turns out to be a pleasant surprise. Known for having directed several episodes of the series Everybody Hates Chris, Are We There Yet? and Survivor's Remorse, and more recently for Disney + Turner & Hooch (Art Appreciation episode), Ali LeRoi delivers here a film destined for the American channel Epix and produced by Blumhouse Television.
From the first images from the television channels, we discover that the United States sees its society collapsing and the so-called safe neighborhoods reduced to dangerous areas such as those seen in another film saga of Blumhouse Television American Nightmare (The Purge). In this apocalyptic context, we discover an African-American family who, after having their house robbed in front of them, decide to take shelter in their neighbor's bunker. As the American economy collapses and the country becomes a real combat zone, the danger inside becomes greater than outside.
American Refugee succeeds in creating an atmosphere that is as real as it is frightening, as the baser instincts of some people resurface. Housed in a bunker by a traditional American family with a gun, the film intelligently deals with the integration of American minorities and above all with the fact that we must succeed in living together regardless of our skin color and social level. The many perfectly chiseled dialogues between Greg and Helen Taylor (Derek Luke, Erika Alexander) and Winter (Sam Trammell) bring to this film a real emotion and show us how far we can break the rules to stay alive.
It's interesting to see that Blumhouse Television's productions for television and streaming platforms seem to have the same specifications, i.e. very low budgets, minimal sets, but a constant care for the direction and the quality of the actors' performance. The director Ali LeRoi fulfills here with care the mission that was entrusted to him and delivers us an immersive and permanently disturbing film.
As our world continues to suffer the global effects of a pandemic that has killed millions and as we try to continue living in the face of an uncertain future, American Refugee shows us that our humanity must remain strong and our will to survive, to walk through a dark tunnel to the light of a better day. The solid performance of the cast easily reinforces our adhesion to this emotionally charged film that manages to hold our attention.
Directed by Ali LeRoi
Produced by Paige Pemberton, Paul Uddo
Executive producers : Jason Blum Chris McCumber, Jeremy Gold, Lisa Bruce, Andrew W. Chan
Written by Allison Buckmelter, Nicolas Buckmelter
Starring Erika Alexander, Derek Luke, Sam Trammell, Peyton Jackson, Zamani Wilder, Jessi Case, Vince Mattis
Music by Dara Taylor
Cinematography : Federico Verardi
Edited by Tim Mirkovich
Production companies : Blumhouse Television
Distributed by Epix
Release date : December 10, 2021
Running time : 94 minutes
Viewed on December 4, 2021