Jacinto Taras Riddick directed and stars in the new film, ‘A Brother’s Whisper’ Credit: Courtesy photo

Jacinto Taras Riddick’s film “A Brother’s Whisper” will be the closing night film at this year’s New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF).

“A Brother’s Whisper,” which won this year’s Ja’Net Dubois Narrative award at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in California, tells the story of Solomon Bordeaux’s return to Fort Greene, Brooklyn after serving three tours of combat duty in the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars. 

Solomon (played by the film’s writer/director/producer, Jacinto Taras Riddick) comes to stay with his younger brother, David (Che Ayende) and his wife, Leona (Lekethia Dalcoe). The two try to support Solomon and welcome him back to his old world and his old life, but Solomon is suffering from PTSD––plus, he’s now looking at an old world that has been transformed. 

Solomon’s old neighborhood is gentrified and the ties he forged in the past with neighbors and friends may still be warm, but there are fewer of them. His brother informs him that the neighborhood is now only 60% Black, “And that number is rapidly declining,” he reports. “Yuppies were paying $2500 a month for a studio in Manhattan—what do you think they were willing to pay for a one-bedroom in Brooklyn? 

“Landlords went upstairs, knocked on a Black tenant’s door, doubled their rent and when they couldn’t pay, they kicked them out.” 

The loss of predominately Black neighborhoods in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy are only the start of Solomon’s issues. The film shows how his anger for changed neighborhoods explodes in a place where interracial and gay couples are now dominant. There’s a question of whether his PTSD is inflating his anger, or if he is feeling desperation and only expressing his fears through resentment.

“A Brother’s Whisper” is challenging for viewers—it takes you through views of Brownstone Brooklyn, its deep pockets of Black culture and the changing demographics of today.

It’s an adult film, told from a very masculine point of view: the point of view of an African American male in today’s Brooklyn. “My goal is to develop creative, independent, soul-stirring, passionate and provocative films,” says Riddick, the film’s creator, in a statement. “My mission also is to produce works that are an alternative to generic mainstream films, giving depth in storytelling and subject matter that is often overlooked or tucked away in an undeserving closet. 

“‘A Brother’s Whisper,’ is a film that I plan to use as my calling card into directing and producing feature-length films. Unlike this so-called politically correct world in which we live, this film does not apologize, nor does it take sides. In my humble belief, it is an honest depiction of our love, dysfunction, fears, triumphs and reaction to what society has bestowed upon us.”

“A Brother’s Whisper” will close the ADIFF on December 11th at 6:30 p.m. at Teachers College, Columbia University 525 W 120th St #91, New York, NY 10027. Tickets can be purchased at https://nyadiff2022.eventive.org/schedule/634441dcf41fc700b96dc33e  
“A Brother’s Whisper” trailer can be viewed at : https://vimeo.com/763606379/6adbe23191

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