Medicine for Melancholy

Medicine for Melancholy 18

In The Mood for Barry Jenkins

Film

Please note: This was screened in Feb 2019

Director:
Barry Jenkins
Cast:
Wyatt Cenac, Tracey Heggins, Elizabeth Acker
Duration:
88 mins, 2008, USA
Primary language:
English

It definitely represents a huge turning point in my life. I'd just turned 29 years old, and this is by far, I think, the most important thing I’ve done. And it has nothing to do with the reception or the quality of the film, but just about deciding to make the film... It was a very big decision. I was at a point in my life when I needed to take a risk.

-Barry Jenkins talking about his debut Medicine for Melancholy

Though it seems as if Barry Jenkins sprung out of nowhere with his Oscar® winning Moonlight, he’d actually been directing projects for more than a decade - the most notable of which is this rarely screened San Francisco set drama and astute exploration of black identity and self-discovery. If you’re a fan of Moonlight, you should definitely seek this out.

Directly inspired by Claire Denis' Vendredi Soir and taking a Richard Linklater-esque approach of following a couple for a single day, Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins star in this love story about two African-American twenty-somethings, their one-night stand, and a revealing day-after in rapidly gentrifying San Francisco. Medicine for Melancholy however reaches far beyond its ‘anti-meet cute’ concept. Race, isolation, monogamy and gentrification are just a few of the topics encountered here by the film’s two engaging leads as a night they barely remember becomes a day they'll never forget...

Jenkins internationally acclaimed and award-winning debut feature, is a tender yet resonant tale of sex, race, bicycles and modern urban life and proved the stepping stone for the emergence of one of the most talked-about independent film directors of recent years.