THE MAGIC CITY Pre Screening
On Tuesday I had the chance to attend a private pre screening for the movie “The Magic City,” I had seen the preview and thought it looked like it could be a good movie or just another indie film. The pre screening was held The Riverside Theatre in New York City. When I got to the movie I was a tad late so I did not catch the very beginning of the film but because I already knew the plot I was able to catch up soon. This movie is a coming of age movie that deals with mental health, poverty, foster care, drug addiction, and so much more. It not only made you think about your life but it really made you think about the lives of other people. The story begins with the main characters two sisters Tiana and Nia being placed in their Aunts care after their drug addict mother abandons them.
Their Aunt Georgia is able to give them a home and things look up for them, the become best friends with their neighbor Amiya. Amiya suffers from her own problems and lives with her Uncle Tru who is living with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Things end up taking a turn for the worst when Tiana and Nia’s Aunt Georgia dies from a heart attack in their home. Instead of the girls calling the cops, afraid they might be split up and placed in foster care they instead take their Aunt’s body and place it their bathroom tub filled with ice. The girls now try to live on their own and discover it is not as easy as it seems. This movie has so many twists and turns that you wonder how did director R. Malcolm Jones come up with the story line so crazy in a sense but so real.
The movie in my opinion was a really good movie, I would encourage everyone who can go see this film to do so. One of the main things it touched on was mental health as Amiya’s Uncle Tru deals with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome throughout the movie and stays in his room which is essentially a small box. After the film their was a discussion lead by director R. Malcolm Jones, actor Jamie Hector (plays Uncle Tru) GEMS representative, a representative from the foster care system, and PR maven Terry Williams as the moderator. The discussion went on for about an hour and touched on everything from mental health to the foster care system. It was amazing to see how many people in the audience (who were of color) had at one point or another needed mental therapy because they were dealing with something in their lives in which “church” couldn’t fix. The biggest take away from the discussion was that people need to go seek counsel when they need it. The characters throughout the movie all needed help, you had the children who were abandoned by the drug abused mother and then placed to live with their aunt. Then you had their best friend who needed help because she would do bodily harm to herself, and lastly the Uncle who has P.T.S.D. All of these characters were going through major problems in their life and none of them were getting the necessary help they needed.
So it really made you think about seeking out help for yourself, your friends, and family. Because often especially people of color we tell people with issues “to go to church and let the Lord heal them,” or we simply write them off as being “the crazy Uncle that all the kids are afraid of.” So I think it was a movie that was necessary for the times that we are in as well as start the conversation about moving forward with solutions. Below I added the trailer for the movie please go out and see it if you can!!