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Ava DuVernay Produced This Stunning Short Film for Common

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Black America Again, a poetic short starring Common, features gorgeous black-and-white cinematic portraiture.

At the New York Film Festival opening party this year, Common gave a surprise performance in honor of Ava DuVernay’s 13th. Now, DuVernay has produced a short film, directed bySelma cinematographer Bradford Young, to commemorate Common’s new album, Black America Again, which dropped last Friday.

Shot in effervescent black-and-white, the 21-minute short boasts luminous moving portraits of African Americans against dark backgrounds, interspersed with documentary-style scenes from the streets, where women sing at a memorial for Freddie Gray and children get inspired to learn. At length, the film cuts to Common rapping in an empty street: “We slaves to the blocks/On ’em we spray shots/Leaving our own to lay in a box.”

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