Tue 3 Oct, 7.30 – THE BIG SICK (15): A Pakistani comedian must choose between culture and love while finding out who he really is.
Wed 4 Oct, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – DUNKIRK (12A): Christopher Nolan directs the story of the evacuation of Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.
Thu 5 Oct at 2.30 & 7.30pm – DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (12A): A poignant portrait of three generations of Gullah women, descendants from slaves, at the turn of the 20th century.
Tue 10 Oct, 11.00 – Babes in Arms screening – KEDI (U): Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. This is the story of seven of them.
Tue 10 Oct, 7.30 – DETROIT (15): 50 years after the murder of three young black men, Kathryn Bigelow directs the story of civil unrest and chaos that led to their deaths.
Thu 12 Oct, 2.30 & 7.30 – FINAL PORTRAIT (15): Paris, 1964. Geoffrey Rush stars as artist Alberto Giacometti in an episode of fondness and frustration as he creates his last masterpiece.
Tue 17 Oct, 7.30 – LAND OF MINE (15): In post-World War II Denmark, young German POWs are forced to clear a beach of land mines as their Danish Sergeant learns to appreciate their plight.
Thu 19 Oct, 11 & 7.30 – THE ODYSSEY (PG): Following thirty years in the life of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the great French ocean-going adventurer.
Tues 24 Oct, 2.30 (HOH) & Thu 26 Oct, 7.30 – VICTORIA AND ABDUL (PG): Stephen Frears directs the little-known story of the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim.
Tue 24 Oct, 7.30 – GOD’S OWN COUNTRY (15): An unsentimental young Yorkshire sheep farmer is forced to consider his future after meeting a Romanian migrant worker.
Tue 31 Oct, 7.00 – Halloween Horror Show! – A GHOST STORY (12A): After a passionate young couple are unexpectedly separated by a shocking loss, his ghost watches over her and their house’s future inhabitants.
Tue 31 Oct, 9.00 – Halloween Horror Show! – IT COMES AT NIGHT (15): After an apocalypse leaves few survivors, two families are forced to share a home in an uneasy alliance to keep evil at bay.
Late August and September – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: We’ll return from our summer holiday with a trip back in time. And not just any trip – The Trip, Roger Corman’s long-banned psychedelic romp, starring Peter Fonda as an LSD first-timer. It’s one of two 1967 movies playing in association with the British Film Institute’s Summer Of Love – the other, Mike Nichols’ classic The Graduate, needs little introduction! Our opening week also features a British classic, 1956’s wartime aviation biopic Reach For The Sky, promoted by our friends at the Kenley Revival Project – and an extra screening of this summer’s hit, My Cousin Rachel.
The first brand new movie of the programme will be Baby Driver, the music-led heist adventure from Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead). We then screen two fascinating and contrasting foreign language dramas about the lives of ordinary women: from France, The Midwife finds her orderly life shaken up when her late father’s mistress (Catherine Deneuve!) crashes onto the scene, while In This Corner Of The World is a beautiful and moving anime about a new bride in World War II Japan. We also have a contrasting pair of “grumpy old men” – Sweden’s Academy Award nominee A Man Called Ove could be your neighbour, unlike the title character of France’s The Death Of Louis XIV – a spellbinding performance by the great Jean-Pierre Léaud (The 400 Blows).
On September 5th, we present a fascinating one-off: the new silent movie London Symphony, with a Q&A with director Alex Barrett. Later in the month, we’ll see Istanbul too, in a charming documentary on its native Kedi (cats). We end September on another trip through time – to the American Civil War with Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, and another perspective on the Second World War in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, which has already earned a third screening on October 4th.
Tue 22nd Aug, 7.30 – THE TRIP (18): Roger Corman directs this 60’s psychedelic film. A TV director takes his first dose of LSD while facing a divorce.
Thue 24th Aug, 2.30 and 7.30 – THE GRADUATE (15): In this 1967 classic, Dustin Hoffman plays a young man, unsure of his life plans, who is seduced by an older woman.
Tue 29 Aug, 7.30 – BABY DRIVER (15): Edgar Wright directs the story of music-obsessed getaway driver Baby, who wants to ditch his shady lifestyle.
Thu 31 Aug, 2.30 and 7.30 – THE MIDWIFE (12A): Catherine Deneuve plays a tightly wound midwife forming an unlikely bond with her late father’s mistress.
Sat 2 Sep, 2.30 and Tue 12 Sep, 7.30: IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (12A): Animated drama about a young bride, who must adapt to a new family and city as the tide of WWII turns against her native Japan.
Tue 5 Sep, 7.30 – LONDON SYMPHONY (PG): A poetic journey through the city of London, with a celebration of its culture and diversity.
Thu 7 Sep, 11 and 7.30 – A MAN CALLED OVE (15): In this Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee, after giving up on life, an ill-tempered retiree discovers friendship with his boisterous new neighbours.
Tues 12th Sept, 11.00 – Babes in Arms screening – MY COUSIN RACHEL (12A): A new version of Daphne du Maurier’s classic tale starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin.
Thu 14 Sep, 2.30 and 7.30 – THE BEGUILED (15): Sofia Coppola directs this 1971 classic remake. Passions rise as a soldier wounded in the US Civil War, finds refuge in a school for young ladies.
Tue 19th Sep, 7.30 – KEDI (U): Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. This is the story of seven of them.
Wed 20 Sep, 2.30 (HOH) and 7.30 – DUNKIRK (12A): Christopher Nolan directs the story of the evacuation of Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.
Tue 26 Sep, 7.30 – THE DEATH OF LOUIS XIV (12A): Written and directed by Albert Serra, this historical drama takes its audience to the royal deathbed.
July and early August – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: Our programme for July and the first part of August is now on sale, and it’s especially diverse, with movies dating from almost a century of cinema, filmed by some great directors and produced in ten countries.
Our two revivals are from 1921 and 1956. Der Müde Tod, also known as Destiny, is an early masterpiece from Fritz Lang, who went on to direct Metropolis and M. This intriguing tale of a young woman taking on Death himself was an influence on both Alfred Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman. From much closer to home, Reach For The Sky is a biopic of Douglas Bader, whose Battle of Britain heroics were recreated at RAF Kenley.
From the present day, yet almost as wordless as Der Müde Tod, The Red Turtle is one of two Academy Award Best Animated Feature nominees. A co-production with Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli, it’s the beautiful and mysterious story of a man shipwrecked on a lush but seemingly deserted tropical island… Our other animation is My Life As A Courgette, the powerful, hopeful stop-motion tale of a young boy finding a new life and community in a foster home. And speaking of new families, in the engaging Gifted, American seven-year-old Mary is a prodigy whose uncle and grandmother (a globetrotting Lindsay Duncan) can’t agree whether she should have a normal childhood or fulfil her great academic potential.
Shot in exquisite black and white, and set in Germany shortly after the First World War, Frantz is a stunning new release from Potiche and 8 Women director François Ozon. Another monochrome gem is a delightful little movie set in 1960s Finland: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki. Why is Olli so happy? He’s fallen in love – although he’s supposed to be fighting for a world boxing crown! Concluding our tour of three continents, Hirokazu Koreeda – the director of last year’s sublime Our Little Sister – is welcomed back with another involving family saga, After The Storm.
Headlining the three new British films on our programme, My Cousin Rachel is a remake of the 1952 classic, with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin in the roles originally taken by Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton. It’s joined by impressive rural drama The Levelling and, with Roger Allam on rambunctious form, an adaptation of Stephen Fry’s comic novel The Hippopotamus.
So, with four films under 90 minutes and only one over two hours, we hope you’ll take plenty of short breaks from the English summer to join us at the David Lean.
Our planned screenings for July and early August are below. Tickets on sale from Thursday 8th June:
Sat 1st, 2.30 & Tue 4th, 7.30 – THE RED TURTLE (PG): In this animation, a shipwrecked man has a life-changing encounter with a giant turtle.
Thu 6th, 2.30 & 7.30 – FRANTZ (12A): In François Ozon’s film set in post-WWI Europe, a young German meets a mysterious Frenchman at her fiancé’s grave.
Tue 11th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – THEIR FINEST (12A)
Tue 11th, 7.30 – THE LEVELLING (15): A young vet returns to the family farm after her brother’s sudden death, in this debut film from Hope Dickson Leach.
Thu 13th, 11 & 7.30 – THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLI MÄKI (12A): A Finnish boxer falls in love just before a world title fight: a true(ish) story!
Tue 18th, 7.30 – DESTINY (DER MÜDE TOD) (PG): In Fritz Lang’s restored silent classic, Death gives a young woman three chances to save her fiancé from his fate.
Thu 20th, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – MY COUSIN RACHEL (12A): A new version of Daphne du Maurier’s classic tale starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin.
Sat 22nd, 2.30 & Tue 1st, 7.30 – MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE (PG): A young orphan boy learns about trust and true love in this stop-motion animation.
Tue 25th, 7.30 – AFTER THE STORM (PG): A private detective struggles to reconnect with his ex-wife and young son in this drama from Hirokazu Koreeda (Our Little Sister).
Wed 26th, 2.30 & 7.30 – GIFTED (12A): A single man raising his child prodigy niece and her one-eyed pet cat is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.
Thu 3rd, 2.30 & 7.30 – THE HIPPOPOTAMUS (15): In this film of Stephen Fry’s novel, Roger Allam is a disgraced poet looking into some unexplained miracles.
Sat 19th, 2.00 – REACH FOR THE SKY (U): This classic film, telling the story of WWII pilot Douglas Bader (Kenneth More), was filmed at Kenley aerodrome. All tickets £5.
June – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: The late spring and early summer is a great time for British and world cinema releases. Many were produced in 2016 and held back until the American giants of the ‘awards season’ had departed – indeed, six of the eight new releases in our June programme featured in October’s London Film Festival.
This allows us to bring you no fewer than six British titles. As promised earlier in April, we’re pleased to announce the two big new releases – the Julian Barnes adaptation The Sense of an Ending and wartime comedy-drama Their Finest. We were among the LFF audiences who roared with laughter at the deliciously absurd Mindhorn, starring Julian Barrett (The Mighty Boosh) as a TV detective called on to solve a real case, and held their breath at Florence Pugh’s astonishing performance as the bold, desperate antiheroine Lady Macbeth. Those of you who enjoy our occasional archive screenings will be in clover at the end of the month – we have two! In association with the Croydon Heritage Festival, David Lean’s Brief Encounter will be discussed by a panel of film professionals. We travel to St John the Baptist Church for the Purley Festival, showing an early film by Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion): his memoir of 1950s Liverpool, The Long Day Closes.
Before our trip to Purley, we’ll visit Romania, Japan, Iraq and France. Graduation is the acclaimed tale of a morally upright doctor who betrays his principles to safeguard his daughter’s future, while Harmonium sees a family riven by discord when the father gives an old acquaintance a second chance. Narrated by Tilda Swinton, Letters From Baghdad explores the adventurous career of Gertrude Bell, who helped to shape the future of the Middle East after the First World War. Finally, and among my favourite films of the LFF, Heal the Living is a highly original, beautifully acted and wonderfully humane ensemble drama about the many lives changed over the course of a heart transplant case.
Our planned screenings for June are below. Tickets on sale from Thursday 4th May:
Thu 1st, 2.30 & 7.30 – GRADUATION (15): A Romanian doctor takes action when an attack on his daughter threatens her university scholarship chances.
Tue 6th, 7.30 – HARMONIUM (12A): In this Japanese drama, a man hires an old friend to help in his workshop, with disastrous results for his family life.
Thu 8th, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (15): Based on Julian Barnes’s Booker prize winning novel, Jim Broadbent plays a man forced to confront his past after receiving a diary.
Tue 13th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG) 2017
Tue 13th, 7.30 – LADY MACBETH (15): In 1865, a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage to an older man begins an affair with a man her own age.
Thu 15th, 11 & 7.30 – LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD (PG): Documentary that tells the story of Gertrude Bell, the explorer, diplomat and archaeologist who helped shape the map of the Middle East in the years after World War One.
Tue 20th, 7.30 – HEAL THE LIVING (12A): This French film follows the results of a young man’s accident and the donation of his heart to a sick woman.
Thu 22nd, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – THEIR FINEST (12A): Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy star in a celebration of the British film industry in the Second World War.
Sat 24th, 2.30 – DAVID LEAN PANEL DISCUSSION + BRIEF ENCOUNTER (PG): Croydon Heritage Festival screening. Lean’s 1945 classic will be followed by a discussion of his work by a panel of film professionals.
Tue 27th, 7.30 – MINDHORN (15): Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) plays a has-been actor helping the police to capture a serial killer who will only talk to Mindhorn, a fictional character he used to play in a successful TV series.
Thu 29th, 8.00 – THE LONG DAY CLOSES (PG): Purley Festival screening, at St. John the Baptist church hall, Purley, of Terence Davies’s adolescent memoir.
May – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: After the great popularity of the mostly American films in our ‘awards season’ programmes, May begins the annual transition towards the many foreign language, British and independent films in our summer programmes. We start in ‘awards’ mode with a huge American crossover hit – the ingenious horror-satire Get Out – and the Best Foreign Language Academy Award winner, Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman, as well as welcome repeats of the popular Viceroy’s House, while our Babes in Arms title will be Best Picture winner Moonlight.
Our second and third weeks are much more typical of the months ahead, with a trio of fascinating, contrasting movies from around the world – from Korea, the dazzling adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, The Handmaiden; from Spain, though written by I, Daniel Blake’s Paul Laverty, the socially conscious road trip drama The Olive Tree; from Japan, the superbly animated and emotionally involving A Silent Voice. Our remaining five titles all feature major British talent, the first of whom is director Terence Davies, who has moved from his early films’ native Liverpool to Sunset Song’s Scotland and now to New England for his long-awaited Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion.
As promised at our last AGM, we have explored filmed theatre options, and now bring you the Globe’s Twelfth Night, starring Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry. Adventure epic The Lost City of Z stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller, while Emma Watson lights up the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. Finally, set in Boston yet filmed in Brighton, is Ben Wheatley’s scintillating shoot-out Free Fire. I hope you’ll enjoy many of these films at the David Lean… and, with more excellent movies in the pipeline, we’ll preview a couple of our June highlights next week!
Tue 2nd, 7.30 – GET OUT (15): In this acclaimed comedy horror film, things go badly for a young black man when he visits his white girlfriend’s parents.
Wed 3rd, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – VICEROY’S HOUSE (12A) – Extra screenings
Thu 4th, 2.30 & 7.30 – THE SALESMAN (12A): Iranian drama from Asghar Farhadi (A Separation), winner of this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Tue 9th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – MOONLIGHT (15)
Tue 9th, 7.30 & Thu 11th, 2.30 – THE OLIVE TREE (15): Written by her partner Paul Laverty (I, Daniel Blake), Icíar Bollaín’s film follows Alma on her quest from Spain to Germany to track down the olive tree once owned by her grandfather.
Thu 11th, 7.30 – THE HANDMAIDEN (18): Psychological thriller from Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), which moves the plot of Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith to Japanese controlled Korea.
Sat 13th, 2.30 & Tue 16th, 7.30 – A SILENT VOICE (12A): In this emotionally rich Japanese anime, a boy seeks redemption after bullying his deaf classmate.
Thu 18th, 2.30 & 7.30 – A QUIET PASSION (12A): Film biography of Emily Dickinson directed by Terence Davies, starring Cynthia Nixon as the US poet.
Tue 23rd, 7.30 – THE LOST CITY OF Z (15): The story of explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared looking for a lost city on the Amazon in the 1920s.
Thu 25th, 11 & 7 – TWELFTH NIGHT (U): Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry in the Globe Theatre production of the Bard’s comedy. Tickets £15 (no concessions).
Sat 27th, 2.30 & Tue 30th, 2.30 – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (PG): Live-action version of the much-loved Disney cartoon, starring Emma Watson as Belle.
Tue 30th, 7.30 – FREE FIRE (15): In Ben Wheatley’s comedy crime thriller, an IRA gang go Stateside to buy guns from a dodgy fixer, but it soon goes wrong!!
April – DLC Programmer Philip Howard writes: Following our March programme, which has broken the David Lean’s pre-sales record, we’re delighted to bring you further Academy Awards contenders in April. (I’m writing this before the results are known!)
Joining our season opener Moonlight and rerun Lion among the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominees are Fences and Hidden Figures, two contrasting tales of twentieth-century African-American life, also both nominated for acting awards (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Denzil Washington). If you enjoy gently-paced character-based dramas such as last year’s Our Little Sister, then Best Original Screenplay nominee 20th Century Women will be an absolute treat. And, finally among the nominees, Elle is a rarity in being a foreign language film with a Best Actress nomination, for Isabelle Huppert.
Of course, Oscar’s decisions are often questioned. Elle (France) joins several excellent titles including Julieta (Spain) and Under the Shadow (UK) in not even making the nine-film Best Foreign Language longlist. The Academy also failed to recognise arguably American cinema’s breakthrough female performance of the year, Lily Gladstone’s charming and quietly heartbreaking turn as a lovestruck rancher in Certain Women – but I look forward to seeing her for a second time.
Elsewhere in the programme, fans of British cinema will be pleased to see Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson in the Indian Partition drama Viceroy’s House, and there’s another opportunity to watch the popular Denial. Our many ballet lovers will be fascinated by Dancer, the biopic of former Royal Ballet star Sergei Polunin, while my niece and nephew report that Spanish adventure Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang is a treat for Saturday family audiences!
Tue 4th, 2.30 & 7.30 – MOONLIGHT (15): Award-winning story of a young, black man growing up amidst the drugs and crime of downtown Miami – tickets already on sale.
Extra screenings: Wed 5th, 2.30 – LION (PG); 7.30 – DENIAL (12A)
Thu 6th, 2.30 & 7.30 – 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (15): California, 1979. Annette Benning plays a single mother who enlists two younger friends (played by Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) to help with her teenage son’s upbringing.
Tue 11th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – LION (PG)
Tue 11th, 7.30 – CERTAIN WOMEN (12A): Kelly Reichardt’s drama tells the story of three independent women in small-town Montana, starring Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and newcomer Lily Gladstone.
Thu 13th, 2.30 & 7.30 – FENCES (12A): Denzil Washington directs himself and Oscar-tipped Viola Davis in August Wilson’s play about an African-American working-class family in the 1950s.
Sat 15th, 2.30 – ZIP & ZAP AND THE MARBLE GANG (U): In this Spanish children’s film, twin brothers Zip and Zap, with the help of other students, discover a secret hidden in the summer school they have been sent to.
Tue 18th, 7.30 – ELLE (18): Isabelle Huppert stars in Paul Verhoeven’s critically acclaimed revenge thriller, playing a successful businesswoman who is raped in her home.
Thu 20th, 11 & 7.30 – HIDDEN FIGURES (PG): The true story of the African-American women “human computers” who played a vital role in getting John Glenn into space while fighting gender, race and professional discrimination.
Tue 25th, 7.30 – DANCER (12A): Documentary about Sergei Polunin, the Ukrainian who became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer, before becoming disillusioned with fame and the ballet world.
Thu 27th, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – VICEROY’S HOUSE (12A): Gurinder Chadha’s film tells the “upstairs downstairs” story of Lord and Lady Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson), as the empire prepares to hand India back to its people.
The film with the most nominations – a record-equalling 14 – is of course La La Land, for which additional screenings are now on sale. Another leading contender, Manchester by the Sea, also has an additional screening by popular demand. Two other Best Picture nominees will arrive at the DLC in March, each also boasting British acting nominees: Lion and Hacksaw Ridge. The fifth Best Picture nominee of the current programme – although actually our first April screening – is another of the favourites, Moonlight. Of the other four Best Picture nominees, Arrival and Hell or High Water have been highlights of the last few months, and we look forward to announcing April screenings of Fences and Hidden Figures in due course.
Our two other Oscar nominees are the Civil Rights-era romantic drama Loving, for which Ireland’s Ruth Negga is a Best Actress contender, and the uproarious father-daughter comedy Toni Erdmann is up for the Foreign Language title. The British Academy has excellent taste too – the wonderful Eagle Huntress has a Bafta nomination, and by popular demand we’re giving it a Saturday rerun. Another Bafta-nominated film is Denial, the story of the David Irving libel trial, with terrific performances from Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall. A couple of other fine British features round off our varied programme: The BBC’s film critic Mark Kermode selected the Tehran-set supernatural thriller Under the Shadow as his best movie of 2016, and – as you may have noticed from this weekend’s media coverage – Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor and friends are back in the long-awaited T2: Trainspotting.
Extra screenings: Sat 4th, 2.30 & Tue 7th, 2.30 – LA LA LAND (12A); Wed 8th, 7.30 – MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (15); Sat 18th, 2.30 – THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (U)
Tue 7th, 7.30pm – UNDER THE SHADOW (15): In war-torn 1980s Tehran, a mother and daughter are trapped in their home, which is haunted by a mysterious evil.
Thu 9th, 2.30 & 7.30 – JACKIE (15): Oscar-tipped Natalie Portman stars in this drama about how JFK’s widow dealt with the aftermath of his assassination.
Tue 14th, 11 – Babes in Arms screening – LA LA LAND (12A)
Tue 14th, 7.30 – HACKSAW RIDGE (15): Mel Gibson’s film about Army Medic Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), the pacifist who was decorated in WWII, but who never fired a shot.
Thu 16th, 11 & 7.30 – DENIAL (12A): David Hare scripts this story of how Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall) sued fellow historian Deborah E. Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) for libel.
Tue 21st, 7.30 – T2: TRAINSPOTTING (18): Danny Boyle and the cast of the original return to Edinburgh to continue the adventures of Renton and co.
Thu 23rd, 2.30 (HOH) & 7.30 – LOVING (12A): The moving story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenged the anti-miscegenation laws in Virginia in the 1960s.
Tue 28th, 7 – TONI ERDMANN (15): A critically acclaimed German black comedy about a practical joker father’s strained relationship with his daughter.
Thu 30th, 2.30 & 7.30 – LION (PG): A young Indian boy becomes lost in a strange city. Years later, adopted in Australia, he tries to rediscover his childhood home. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman star in this fascinating drama.
Tue 4th April, 2.30 & 7.30 – MOONLIGHT (15): Award-winning story of a young, black man growing up amidst the drugs and crime of downtown Miami.