OUT OF MY HAND
Directed by Takeshi Fukunaga
Official Selection, 2015 Berlin International Film Festival
US Fiction Award, 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival
Winner of this year’s SDAFF George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award. Proceeds from the screening will be donated to the George C. Lin Memorial Fund.
We open on hands coaxing latex from a rubber tree. They belong to Cisco (Bishop Blay), who like many other Liberian men, is a rubber tapper working under harsh labor conditions and for meager wages. Together, the laborers call a strike, which proves less than successful. Cisco, restless and indignant, decides to follow his cousin’s footsteps and try to make it as a cab driver in New York instead. Arriving in Staten Island’s Little Liberia, he discovers a new world while being confronted with the old.
OUT OF MY HAND’s gorgeous colors traverse the warm rich hues of the Liberian countryside and the cool blue tones of New York City. Touching on themes such as immigration, the value of labor, a transnational Africa, and the ghosts of war that refuse to stop haunting no matter where one escapes to, the film is at once universal and personal, timely and timeless.
OUT OF MY HAND is based on an unfinished documentary by New York-based Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Fukunaga’s late brother-in-law, cinematographer Ryo Murakami, who shot the Liberian portion of the film before succumbing to malaria. The film introduces world audiences to the soulful sensibilities of lead actor Blay and marks one of the most impressive American directorial debuts of the year. –Wilda Wong