Truth, love, and dignity are just a few of the issues addressed in the 20-minute short film, “The Tale of Four,” directed by Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe (Empire, Precious), and completed with the expertise of Beast / CO3 / Method Chicago.
Tracking the lives of four African-American women who live in the same apartment building, it shows how racially charged injustices hamper the struggle for a normal life.
“I will not let them tell our story,” announces Peaches (Aisha Hinds) at the introduction of the film. “Here’s what really happened.”
She is surrounded by portraits of a young black man and newspaper clippings of his murder.
Peaches’ story is woven together with those of her neighbors in a heartbreaking narrative that speaks to everyone.
Accompanied by smart editing, a comfortable color palette and a jazzy soundtrack, the gravity of their situations does not overwhelm the viewer.
The women who inhabit Tale of Four want the same things that any typical American wants. It’s just that their efforts to raise children, find romance, and pay the rent are convoluted by external factors like police misconduct, community dysfunction, and broken homes.
But, as Peaches declares midway through the story, there is hope. “We gotta come together regardless of race,” she says. “An unjust justice system is everyone’s problem.”
“The Tale of Four” is part of the Refinery 29’s Shatterbox Anthology, a series of work by female filmmakers from around the world.
Directed by Gabourey Sidibe
Written by Ayanna McMichael, Kia Perry
Kate Bolger— line producer
Lisa Cortes — producer
Amy Emmerich — executive producer
Rebecca Garland — associate producer
Shannon Gibson — producer
Stone Roberts — executive producer
Edit by Beast
Dean Gonzalez — editor
Color by Company 3
Tyler Roth — colorist
Online edit by Method Studios
Ryan Wood — flame artist
Design by Method Design
Lauren Roth — head of production/producer
Audio by Periscope
John Wong — audio engineer