Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1998
Country: United States
Run Time: 87 minutes

With ghetto gangbangers, lurking muggers, and a serial killer that police don't seem at all eager to catch, it's no wonder lots of folks carry weapons in West Oakland - 9 mm automatic handguns, kives, fists, bad attitudes. Pica Sullivan's got a simple Polaroid camera, but it also serves as a tool for survival. "I'm taking pictures of black men because they are becoming an endangering species," she tells anyone who will listen. Largely ignored by all the strangers at the home her irresponsible single mother turns into a house party every night, Pica strikes up a chance firendship with Toby, a girl on the run from an abusive ex. Toby likes to wear male clothes; her bag is to try and blend safely into the scenery. But Pica, a rebellious art student and activist, confronts life head on. When all-too-familiar personal tragedy rocks her world, Pica's collection of instant portraits provides the key for both young women to move forward. Engagingly composed of unposed snapshots of everyday life, Cauleen Smith's hopeful flicksz-n-the-'hood drama sends a shoutout to the therapuetic abilitiy of art, as DRYLONGSO's unshuttered heroine makes the ordinary into the extraordinary through her lens and develops a sense of pride and oneness for a casualty-scarred community. Peace out.

Cauleen Smith, Salim Akil

Cauleen Smith

Cauleen Smith, Salim Akil

Andrew Black

Cauleen Smith

Principal Cast
Toby Smith, April Barnett, Will Power, Timothy Braggs, Channel Schaeffer

Film Contact
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