A Columbia Uni doctoral pupil grapples with artistic prospects, demands, and pressures while sculpturing out her path in “ Queen of Glory, ” pen-director-star Nana Mensah’s inviting and understated indie about emigrant identity anxieties. With a lived-in sense of the Bronx community in which her story takes place, the filmmaker generates endearing pathos from a story whose familiarity is neutralized by its humor and authenticity. Its small scale will probably constrain its box-office fortunes, but it’s precisely the type of under-the-radar gem that carnivals similar to Tribeca( where it debuts) were made to the limelight.
Though thriving in the Ivy League, Sarah( Mensah) intends to dislocate to Ohio to be with her coworker/ swain Lyle( Adam Leon). That plan is complicated first by the fact that Lyle is married with children, and latterly by the unanticipated death of her cherished Ghanaian- American mama. Sarah is therefore assigned with handling her mama’s burial and estate, the former challenging a week-long event involving two gatherings( one that sounds akin to a marriage, replete with gifts), and the ultimate taking her to do commodity with her mama’s King of Glory Christian bookstore, whose ceiling’s misspellings are one of the proceedings ’ numerous realistic traces.
Sarah’s attempt to hold her life together is made indeed more delicate by the appearance of her father Godwin( OberonK.A. Adjepong), who’s long lived in his native Ghana and who, like other members of this close-knit area, makes not-so-subtle commentary about her childlessness and her weight( causing her to take routine jogs around the neighborhood). She finds some solace and kindness at King of Glory via Pitt( Meeko Gattuso), a facially tattooed-con hand who remains intensively pious to her mama. Yet indeed their expiring fellowship — solidified over days and nights tending to faithful guests, and eating some of Pitt’s manual treats has implicit disaster written all over, given that Sarah is covertly trying to vend the place.
“ Queen of Glory ” establishes these multiple dilemmas for Sarah and also tenderly maps her sweats to find a way through them. From the relations of her characters to the frequent cutaways to black-and-white and color montages of people rehearsing burial solemnities in Ghana, Mensah evokes the intricate ties that bind emigrants to their heritages, and the way those connections can both aid and hamper particular growth and progress. The pen-director’s terse liar captures that complicated stew with coming to no wasted gestures or diversions, and her lensing( courtesy of Cybel Martin) conveys Sarah’s disconnected and isolated circumstances with unfussy clarity.
Similar dramatic effectiveness extends to the material’s beginning issues regarding race and gender, which are easy to ripen but go shrewdly unremarked upon, similar that they crop naturally from the action at hand. frequently set to African drumming, and using sharp montages and kissers.
through the Bronx, thoroughfares to supplicate a sense for this multilateral enclave, “ Queen of Glory ” makes the utmost of its modest premise, which also holds of its performances. In an attractive supporting turn, Gattuso brings layers of unanticipated gentleness to Pitt, whose fellowship with Sarah is one of the film’s highlights. also winning is Anya Migdal as Tanya, a nonage familiarity of Sarah’s and the dame of a Russian clan whose own bustling ménage further deepens one’s sense of these characters ’ messy, stressful and happy lives.
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