Saturday Church (2017) Movie Review

Director: Damon Cardasis

Writer: Damon Cardasis (Screenplay)

Starring: Luka Kain, Indya Moore, Mj Rodriguez, Margot Bingham, Jaylin Fletcher, Regina Taylor

Plot: A 14 year-old-boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process.

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important

Story: Saturday Church starts as we meet 14-year-old Ulysses (Kain) who has just lost his father, meaning his mother Amara (Bingham) needs to work more leaving Aunt Rose (Taylor) looking after Ulysses and his little brother Abe (Fletcher).

Ulysses gets bullied at school, with his family knowing he likes to cross dress, after he meets Ebony (Rodriguez) he starts to learn about the trans community in the city, where he gets to learn about himself and understand his own gender identity.

Thoughts on Saturday Church

Characters – Ulysses is a teenage boy that has been struggling with his identity, he likes women’s clothing, only his family is against everything he is trying to understand, with his aunt pushing him away more than anyone else. Ulysses meets other trans people who help him understand the stigma he will face in life, but show him that everything will be ok in the end for him. Amara is the over the works mother of Ulysses, not only has she lost her husband, but she needs to support the two boys, she tries to discourage Ulysses, but will learn to accept that his happiness is the most important thing. Ebony introduces Ulysses to the Saturday Church, a place where the LGBTQ community can meet and feel safe, learn how to become accepted in the world that often shuns them. Aunt Rose is against Ulysses not being a straight black man, threatening to beat it out of him, bring even more problems in his life.

PerformancesLuka Kain in the leading role is brilliant, showing the insecurity he is feeling, while showing the delight around the people that bring him to life. While the rest of the cast do a great job showing the struggles they have been through or are going through.

StoryThe story here follows a 14-year-old boy that is stuck trying to figure out his gender identity, where he learns who would be in his life during this stage of his life, where he needs them most. This does show us how difficult it could be for a teenager going through a gender identity crisis, seeing how not having supporting in life, can bring on a form of depression until the support needed is found. It shows us how the stigma around Ulysses can ruin self-confidence, but once embraced he will come out of his shell to become a better man.

MusicalThe musical side of the film comes from the fantasies that Ulysses uses to escape the struggles he is facing in life.

SettingsThe film uses the New York setting to show the different worlds around, showing that in every corner of the city will have somewhere you could belong in.

Scene of the Movie – Musical numbers.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The school attitude.

Final Thoughts This is important drama that shows the struggles people who are struggling with gender identity will face in life, with them needing to find a place they can become themselves in.

Overall: Drama worth watching.

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