2023 Tribeca part 2

What is the expression? “Be careful what you wish for.” It might come true. CYPHER could be a cautionary work about modern fame and its downside. Tierra Whack from Philadelphia, found online fame rapping on the streets. Her journey to the top had a fairy-tale angle, a young lady from the wrong side of the tracks goes on to become famous. Director Chris Moukarbel observes the double edge of fame, from the adulation to the cra-cra. As the Cypher unfolds, rooting for the rapper suddenly goes to “Girl, you are in danger!”


Gentrification has hit every urban area in the world. Finding affordable housing in any city is the same as trying to guess seven winning lottery numbers. MOUNTAINS by Monica Sorelle tells the story of a Miami affordable neighborhood being gentrified. Atibon Nazaire stars as Haitian Xavier Sr., a man contemplating a foggy future for him and his family. Atibon strong presence balances subtle performance as a man looking at an oncoming storm.

Not that we needed a film about how strange the world was during Covid and the lockdowns. Brazil’s A STRANGE PATH captures the moment by showing the peculiar monotony of life of doing nothing and waiting with a feeling of fear and seeking out comfort. Lucas Limeira stars as a filmmaker returning home only to be confined to a dingy hotel room during the closures while a dysfunctional relationship with his father goes beyond repair.

A Strange Path at Tribeca
A Strange Path

Headlines Made Me Watch

Why was I drawn to IT’S BASIC? The political headlines of Dr. Cornel West announcement of his candidacy for president of the United States in 2024. As poverty and inequality grow in America, a desperate populace is looking for new answers. Marc Levin points his camera at subjects weighed down by an unsympathetic system. The “working poor” in the country have been ignored. Cities finding themselves unable to ignore the harsh realities of neo-liberal government policies have come up with new solutions to address the problem of an ever larger underclass: a basic income.

It's Basic at Tribeca Film Festival
It’s Basic

An honorable mention goes to DEEP SEA. China’s ambitious underwater animated adventure from Xiaopeng Tian. I had problems with the fast pacing and lack of sympathetic characters, but the visuals were top-notch.

Canada’s HEY VIKTOR got so silly I started to laugh out loud. Cody Lightning’s comedy about self-serving comeback while making a low or no budget film had moments.

Tribeca Film Festival runs until June 18th.