Loss often feels unfathomable — a festering wound that never quite seems to heal. All-consuming at times the weight of it all bears down on you. It becomes the sole object of your focus, the pain and heartbreak demand every ounce of emotion that you have. In some instances, the overwhelming sense of sadness might cause you to do some shocking things.
In his superb short film See You Yesterday, director Stefon Bristol explores the anguish of losing a loved one through the lens of science fiction. (Think J.D. Dillard’s Sleight or the Black Film & TV Collective’s web series, Keloid.)
Set in Brooklyn and executive produced by Spike Lee, the film follows quirky teen CJ (Eden Duncan-Smith) and her best friend Sebastian (Dante Crichlow). Devastated by the untimely death of her older brother Calvin (Parish Bradley), CJ is determined to fix it. She and Sebastian build a time machine with the hopes of returning to the past and changing the course of events that led to Calvin’s shocking death.
Despite its short runtime, See You Yesterday is electrifying (literally). It encompasses issues of police brutality and the innate desire that all humans have to return the past with the opportunity to do things differently. The teens’ frantic determination as they race against time is visceral.
With a small window of time to change the course of their lives, CJ and Sebastian soon learn that bending time might be more plausible than mending shattered relationships between law enforcement officers and the Black community. A gripping film about death, grief and police brutality, See You Yesterday is a film we never saw coming.
See You Yesterday premieres at The BlackStar Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 5.