The summer I turned eighteen, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease she would succumb to two years later. That summer, I also discovered my then-boyfriend had another girlfriend. I was spending the last summer of my “childhood” preparing to leave my home on the south side of Chicago for a brand new adventure in New York City. Desperate to begin my journey into adulthood, while also grappling with leaving behind everything I’d ever known, left me in an emotional tailspin. Unfortunately, this caused me to lash out at those closest to me. It wasn’t until I was all alone, several thousand feet in the air, my head resting against the airplane window that I began sobbing. Surrounded by hundreds of strangers, I finally surrendered to all of the emotions from the prior months that had threatened to leave me in shambles.
Based on a short film by Reel Works film student, Bilal Ngondo, Raafi Rivero’s “72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story?” follows 18-year-old Caesar Winslow (Melvin Mogoli), a Brooklyn native from the Kingsborough Houses. Caesar finds himself standing at the same crossroads I was at not so many years ago. A charismatic and egotistical young man, Caesar has the opportunity to leave Brooklyn behind and accept a full scholarship at a prestigious university. However, he soon discovers that saying goodbye is no easy feat. At odds with himself and his environment, Caesar’s longtime girlfriend Kaia also breaks up with him (for good reason), leaving him desperately trying to regain control over his life before his impending departure.
Told over the course of the 72 hours before he’s supposed to board the bus for school, Rivera unravels all of the different components that make Caesar who he is. An expert at navigating various worlds (while compartmentalizing his true feelings) his choices are often impulsive, showing little regard for the well-being of others. Anticipating his time in college and a new girl who has caught his eye, Caesar tries to move in one direction, while desperately attempting to hold onto Kaia. His emotions are further heightened because he is still grieving the loss of his beloved uncle.
Continue reading at Shadow and Act.