Nothing brings me more joy than watching a film written by women for women, which is why Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina’s SXSW entry and now winner of the Special Jury Recognition for Mulit-Hyphenate Storyteller resonated and was one of my favs.
2020 was a very emotional, financially difficult year for many around the globe. The film industry witnessed productions being shut down and projects postponed indefinitely. If all that weren’t enough, the Covid crisis shuttered businesses, diminished earnings and jeopardized so many single parents of having the ability to simply cover expenses for necessities like rent and food. That didn’t stop Kelley Kali, Angelique Molina and Roma Kong from creating a single Mom drama with heart as she skates to survival for herself and the future of her daughter. Not knowing when or if a safe place to dwell would ever be on the table again, Danny (Kelley Kali), a recently widowed mother, becomes homeless. While struggling to make ends meet and keep them off the streets, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter Wes (Wesley Moss) that their camping is for fun and temporary (an activity she adored sharing with her Dad).
As a young Black girl, primarily raised by a Mom struggling to obtain a nursing license with two kids, made my heart hurt as I watched Danny on this journey. My mind runs rampant some days wondering about the unspoken sacrifices she endured just to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads and just our overall safety as a family. It is those sacrifices that has turned me into the strong resilient woman that pens this review.
Kali and Molina’s creative, realistic writing provides memorable moments throughout Danny’s journey like smoking with her bestie Brooklyn (BK Marie) while tripping out on a playground slide to fighting off a grifter stealing valuables from her tent to her own personal #MeToo moment from her husband’s best friend to the flagrant disregard of Brooklyn’s man Chad propositioning Danny as she rests on stairs belonging to a house of worship. One of my favorite cinematic moments involve Danny slipping and sliding into a puddle of water that becomes an acid trip of swimming in a body of water attempting to hold onto Wes’s teddy bear, her money and wedding ring.
Produced by Black-ish star Deon Cole, Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina (among others), these 2018 Oscar winners have more than proven that they have even more stories up their sleeve. This inspirationally crafted tale more than adequately illustrates what women endure just to maintain some sort of dignity in the midst of struggle while navigating lanes of being an unsung maternal superhero. Thanks ladies for your artistry, bravery and unapologetic storytelling. Looking forward to the next one.