There’s a scene in one of the Matrix movies when one of the elders of Zion brings Neo down into the lowest level of their underground city.  He speaks to Neo of how they are living because of machines, the machines which keep the city safe and recycle their air and water.  Even as they fight to destroy some machines, they must be kept alive by others.  That is an extreme example, but electricity undergirds our everyday life.  It keeps our food cold, helps us to cook it, pumps the water through our pipes, keeps us warm or cold, and lights our way.  When electricity leaves, it’s chaos.  In the summer of 2003, America was hit with its largest ever blackout.  Cities across the Northeast were shut down and the blackout was reported as being peaceful.  Yet that was not including the forgotten Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush.

Now available on DVD from Paramount Pictures and BET Home Entertainment is Blackout, a Jerry LaMothe film.  Pick this true urban story up today!

Blackout is the story of the East Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn during the 2003 blackout.  Power goes out elsewhere and creates a helpful atmosphere, a time in which people are able relax and escape from their responsibilities.  But in Flatbush, looting breaks out, violence, and even murder.  From the barbershop to the corner store, shoe store to the tenement housing, the neighborhood changes once the sun sets.  People die, people struggle, and people learn more about themselves and others.  And, it’s true story.

The special features on this disc include optional commentary by director Jerry LaMothe, a behind the scenes special, a featurette about the true stories of the blackout, deleted scenes, and an opportunity to learn more about the cast.

This film is truly incredible.  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I started watching the movie – something along the lines of an urban Cribs meets Girlfriends.  My exposure to African American television and film has been less then enthralling.  But every character in this movie is unendingly real and all the characters work so well together that it’s hard to believe at times that this is not a documentary.  This is one of the best movies I have seen so far in this new year.

Blackout is a knockout hit.  Rarely is a true story told in such a compelling way.

This film is available on Amazon.com.

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