While Netflix have been mostly known for their original series, they have also brought some really impressive movies in recent times. The Irishman is the obvious example, but the likes of Marriage Story, The Two Popes, and Extraction have also proven to be successful.
Their latest release made its way to the streaming site this morning, and it looks like a compelling watch.
All Day And a Night tells the story of a young African-American man who commits a homicide and ends up being given a life sentence. While he is incarcerated, he looks back on the moments in his life that led him to this point.
The prison he finds himself in also houses his father, someone who he has a very complicated relationship with.
Created by co-writer of Black Panther Joe Robert Cole, and starring Moonlight's Jeffrey Wright, this seems like an incredibly well put together project.
You can watch the trailer in full below.
Netflix summarises the movie as:
As soft-spoken Jahkor struggles to keep his dream of rapping alive amidst a gang war in Oakland, his ill-fated life and real-world responsibilities drive him further and further across the line of right and wrong with tragic consequences.
Landing in prison beside his father, J.D. whom he never wanted to be like, Jahkor embarks on an unlikely journey of self-discovery, exploring the events that unite them, in hopes of helping his newborn son break a cycle that feels unavoidable.
The early reviews have been positive. Benjamin Lee of The Guardian said this feels like a movie made for the big screen, something now always true of Netflix releases:
Discarding the flat TV palette so many other Netflix-funded film-makers seem happy to stick with, writer-director Cole clearly has something a lot grander in his sights and he squeezes every last drop from his limited budget, working as if the intention was for a far bigger screen.
It’s stylish work but Cole avoids gimmicky flourishes, which would have been an easy fallback given the material, and instead maintains an evocative aesthetic while providing a number of standout visual sequences.
Meanwhile, Oliver Jones of Obvserver.com said the film gives an excellent portrayal of the real life hardships people in similar situations face in the USA:
But more than simply being a showcase for violence, what All Day and a Night presents with intimate and devastating authority are the sad rituals surrounding gun death and poverty that mark life for too many.
The memorial t-shirts, the funeral where someone brings a baking tin of mac and cheese, even the language of oppression are captured with a profound depth of feeling and understanding.
What ends up sticking with you is not so much why Jahkor did what he did than the quotidian details that pushed him towards that moment—those everyday heartbreaks and injustices that made him a prisoner well before he was ever locked up.