“If there was ever a film to open America’s eyes, this is it.” -Variety
Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize nominee and SXSW Official Selection BLINDSPOTTING is truly unique, featuring a seamless blend of spoken word written by its stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, while also being acclaimed as “a cathartic battle cry against police brutality and gentrification, and a sensitive, nuanced unpacking of race and identity.”
Diggs (best known for his role in Broadway’s Hamilton) and Casal visited the Angelika New York on the film’s opening night, for a Q&A alongside their co-star Jasmine Cephas Jones (one of Diggs’ Hamilton cast-mates).
The film’s conception began 10 years ago, inspired by Casal’s YouTube videos, and catalyzed by the rapidly changing cultural landscape of Oakland, California. East Coast native Jones had to get to know Oakland in order to adapt to the role. Here, she chats about being a Brooklyn girl playing a Californian:
Diggs and Casal chose to utilize many of their friends to fill out the film’s cast, due to the unfortunate lack of people who look like West Oaklanders in their casting director’s reach.
Diggs elaborates on the systematic casting problems in Hollywood here:
Finding people who believe in you is a huge key to creating art, and Casal elaborates on that below. A chosen family, a support system, gives power to developing and nurturing artistic talents. Despite how successful the work is, Diggs and Casal lean on their chosen families to support one another and make their art the best it can be.
About the film:
Collin (Daveed Diggs) must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning. He and his troublemaking childhood best friend, Miles (Rafael Casal), work as movers, and when Collin witnesses a police shooting, the two men’s friendship is tested as they grapple with identity and their changed realities in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood they grew up in. Glistening with humanity and infused with the spirit of hip hop and spoken word, BLINDSPOTTING is a timely and wildly entertaining story of friendship, class and race, set amid the backdrop of Oakland, California.
View the trailer:
Where to see it: