Don’t Be a Sucka

After a decade apart, two old friends, John and Brent, reminisce over drinks and remember the good ole days of their past. As the drinks flow, Brent takes the opportunity to apologize for his family’s racist tendencies, revealing why their friendship became so estranged. When they switch from beers to something a little stronger, we learn that John’s true intentions weren’t just to catch up with an old friend.

Directors Statement

In early 2017, I began developing a story that addressed the complicated conversations of racial tension between friends in the South. However, I began to grow frustrated as I felt the story lacked the inherent truth of “why” behind the antagonist’s actions. Then in August of 2017, the “Unite the Right Rally” happened in Charlottesville. In the events after the riots, a short film titled “Don’t Be A Sucker” went viral. Released by the United States Department of War in 1947 (shorter version), the goal was to educate viewers on prejudice and discrimination. Fueled with anti-racist and anti-fascist themes, the film is unsurprisingly still relevant. After watching the film, I was motivated to pick back up my original idea for the project and reimagine the world where the story and character would live.

We would hope that acceptance and equality would be staples in today’s society; however, the lack of these core social issues are back in the spotlight now more than ever. I hope that this film will contribute to the ongoing conversations around the political and social implications of equality and race in America and specifically between friends. While the subject of political tension taps neatly into the cultural zeitgeist that boiled over following the 2016 election, the theme of this story exposes how intention can become violent. And while we may not agree with the character’s actions, there’s a method to his madness.

Furthermore, this film shares the same world to a feature I’m developing as my graduate thesis at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.