Sometimes it seems like every film that passes through Sundance gets picked up for a ton of money, but that is really not the case. Many very good movies, even Audience Award winners, slip by without ever finding distribution. Such is the case with Imperial Dreams, which I reviewed way back in 2014 and had a ton of praise for. Almost exactly a year ago a teaser was released in hopes of the John Boyega-led drama finding a home since he was then red-hot after Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And you know what? It worked because Netflix scooped it up and here's a fuller trailer to herald the film's debut.
The urban drama is directed by the talented Malik Vitthal and finds Boyega as Bambi, a young kid from Watts, Los Angeles who attempts to put his criminal life behind him for the sake of his son. Here's the synopsis:
Bambi (John Boyega) wants to publish his credos and chronicles and start his career the way any other normal young writer would. For Bambi, however, normal is the quandary. “Normal” means returning to Watts, Los Angeles, after a 28-month jail stint to find his young son playing next to his strung-out grandmother. It’s normal for the patriarch of his family to offer Bambi pills, guns, and a drug-running job as a way to welcome him home. A normal visit from his cousin involves Bambi and son performing minor surgery to extract a bullet from his arm. Bambi meets this surreal, ghetto normal with equanimity, but he knows life can’t be “normal” like this for long.
Be sure to check this one out and show it some support when it hits Netflix on November 3rd. I don't think you'll regret it. It's the most powerful performance of Boyega's career and shows that he has a lot to offer outside of blockbuster franchises.