Perry (Anthony Mackie) has a lot going on. He's young, black, and gay, and studying hard at Columbia while also working at a homeless shelter and trying to get noticed as a painter. Disowned by his homophobic parents, he's looking for love, meaning, purpose... all that good stuff. "There's a war inside me," he thinks to himself.
So can he end the war in the course of a 90-minute movie? Brother to Brother tackles so many issues that there's no way Perry will find all his answers, but he does make a good start with the help of the elderly Bruce Nugent (Roger Robinson), a minor figure in the Harlem Renaissance whom Perry encounters on the street and later at the shelter. Nugent, who's also gay, takes Perry back to the days of wild Harlem through a series of black-and-white flashbacks. It's there that we meet the young Bruce (Duane Boutte) along with the superstars of the era: Langston Hughes (Daniel Sunjata), Zora Neale Hurston (Aunjanue Ellis), and Wallace Thurman (Ray Ford). By listening to Nugent's stories, Perry realizes that all the prejudices he's fighting -- black vs. white, gay vs. straight, light-skinned vs. dark-skinned -- are nothing new.
Continue reading: Brother To Brother Review