Night Comes On

Director: Jordana Spiro
2018 | USA | 86m
GENRE: Black/African American | Domestic Abuse | Drama | Lesbian | Parenting/Family | Youth (18 & Under)
SECTION: Showcase | US Feature

Eighteen-year-old Angel (Dominique Fishback of HBO’s The Deuce) leaves her stint in juvenile detention with nothing but a few bucks and a dead cell phone. After serving time for unlawful possession of a weapon, she’s thrown back onto the streets and into a world populated by the demons of her past. After unsuccessfully trying to connect with her ex-girlfriend, as well as old friends and acquaintances, Angel realizes how fast the world has changed during her absence and how completely alone she now is. Her little sister, Abby (gifted newcomer Tatum Marilyn Hall), is stuck in foster care, while her dad, responsible for the murder of their mother, roams free in some undisclosed suburb. But Angel, strong-willed and resourceful, has a quick-fix plan: find Abby, get a gun, hunt down her father, and hit the reset button on her and her sister’s lives.

First-time filmmaker Jordana Spiro and co-writer Angelica Nwandu paint a tough but intimate portrait of sisterhood in a hostile landscape where kids and young adults, desperate for guidance, are instead forced to fend for themselves. Naturalistic dialogue and restrained but deeply felt dynamics between the two sisters breathe humor and warmth into scenes otherwise loaded with tension and inner turmoil.

Winner of the NEXT Innovator Award at 2018’s Sundance Film Festival, Night Comes On is a raw and lyrical coming-of-age tale and a testament to Spiro’s gifts as a nuanced and empathetic storyteller on the rise.

— HARRY VAUGHN