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.
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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.
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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!
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Jill Florio Administrator
This surprisingly good “extreme short” makes me smile wide each time I watch it, but it’s also quietly devastating.
I’ll add that I think this one definitely earns a spot on the list of worthwhile additions to the GHD genre. Not one second is wasted, and this 4 minute story is surprisingly coherent.
I’m interested to know if this is how Black people see White police officers?
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Jill.
Jill Florio Administrator
PS: the line reading where he says, “Oh! You got me.” That’s the funniest bit in a funny mini-film.