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The Independent Critic

Ed Delia, Nefertiti Warren, Tyler Kachtan
Gregory G. Allen

 "Reparations" Prepares for Indie Fest Circuit 

Writer/director Gregory G. Allen's latest film, Reparations, has already proven to be a compelling story as evidenced by its selection for the 2019 HollyShorts Screenplay Contest and its status as an official finalist in the New York Screenplay Contest and a semi-finalist in the Filmmatic Screenplay Awards. 

Indeed, Reparations does tell an engaging story centered around Howard (Ed Delia), a Jewish Holocaust survivor who has agreed to be interviewed by Michonne (Nefertiti Warren), an African-American lesbian completing her graduate thesis on the subject of reparations. We're introduced to Howard as he prepares himself and his home for the whom we're not sure he really wants to arrive. An avid doodler whose artwork is filled with obvious meaning and memory, Howard's entire being radiates a quiet sense of resignation and repression of memory and experience. Michonne, on the other hand, arrives into his home with an air of confidence and sense of self-identity that seems both connected to and distant from Howard's own life experiences. 

They discuss their lives, a fragile congeniality occasionally broken by the tension of philosophical disagreements and the words that fill the air and the words that are also left unspoken. Howard struggles to understand Michonne's belief in the justice of reparations for the sins against her ancestors that continue to ripple in her life even now. Howard, on the other hand, sees the reparations provided by Germany as addressing more immediate wrongs and, as such, more easily justified. 

They disagree. They conflict. They stay. They listen. 

Allen tries to accomplish an awful lot with the nearly 12-minute Reparations and at times the inherent dramatic arc of the storyline feels underserved by this reach. However, the story that unfolds is deeply moving and beautifully brought to life by both Delia and Warren in a way that feels honest and uncomfortable and true. Both Delia and Warren have a background in stage work and it shows here, their relational dynamics bouncing across the screen and bring both Allen's words and Jazzmen Lee-Johnson's visual effects vibrantly to life. 

In a world that is known to be gradually forgetting the Holocaust, Reparations is a memorable reminder of its ripple across generations and the myriad of wildly diverse lives impacted is unrelenting hate. The recently completed Reparations is getting set for its indie festival run and should easily resonate with discerning festival moviegoers who will appreciate its timely, relevant message. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic