I don’t use YouTube often as the seemingly endless advert interruptions are desperately annoying, but it was the only source I had for 12:01 PM so I was stuck with it. Afterward, I noticed there was another clip available called Groundhog Day For A Black Man, and as it only ran for under five minutes I thought I’d give it a look. I’m glad I did.
Groundhog Day For A Black Man starts at 06:00 am on 5th December 2016. The radio alarm clock goes off, playing Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe. The titular Black Man is Eric (Burl Moseley), who wakes up and goes about his day. His day doesn’t get very far, as he is stopped for a trivial moving traffic offense by a white police officer. He is asked for his documentation and, as soon as he leans inside, he gets shot…and goes back to Sonny and Cher.
You Think You’re Having A Bad Day?
From then on he keeps repeating, learning, adapting, and getting shot. Written like that, Groundhog Day For A Black Man seems incredibly bleak and dismal, but they pull off the seemingly impossible by making the whole thing funny. Perhaps I see it as funny, as I’m viewing it cocooned in a security blanket of white privilege; where I see it as shock or possibly surreal humour, a black person may see it more as observational or inside humour.
Either way, they do pull off the comedy.
As far as the story goes, there isn’t really much more than that. That isn’t a complaint by any means. For goodness sake, there are advert breaks longer than Groundhog Day For A Black Man, so you can’t expect much in the way of character development and story arcs. What I will say is that the denouement is heartwarming, whatever your background. Writer/director Cynthia Kao deserves mountains of credit for this little gem that opens your eyes, as well as tickling your ribs.
Movie Grade: A
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!