T (2019) [Short]

USA (MIFF 2020 )

This Golden Bear for Best Short Film winner – a genre-defying work about Miami’s annual commemoration of lost community members known as the T Ball – was described by the Berlinale shorts jury as “both heartbreaking and full of hope”.

The T Ball is an annual extravaganza wherein those who have left this world are remembered by those left behind through wildly designed T-shirts and handmade costumes. In Keisha Rae Witherspoon’s magnificent directorial debut, which also won awards at the Miami, Blackstar, Indie Grits and New Orleans film festivals, this celebration of death and life is captured in awe-inspiring, almost fantastical depictions that skilfully borrow from the lexicon of documentary. And yet strewn within its exuberance are delicate statements about racialised disadvantage, violence and the power of creativity to transform sadness and rage.

“Undeniably magical … T feels revolutionary because it is: Black grief, love, celebration, and anger are undiffused. The subtle shifts from joy to pain or from boisterous to brooding all manifest in full view.” – Miami New TimesThis Golden Bear for Best Short Film winner – a genre-defying work about Miami’s annual commemoration of lost community members known as the T Ball – was described by the Berlinale shorts jury as “both heartbreaking and full of hope”.

The T Ball is an annual extravaganza wherein those who have left this world are remembered by those left behind through wildly designed T-shirts and handmade costumes. In Keisha Rae Witherspoon’s magnificent directorial debut, which also won awards at the Miami, Blackstar, Indie Grits and New Orleans film festivals, this celebration of death and life is captured in awe-inspiring, almost fantastical depictions that skilfully borrow from the lexicon of documentary. And yet strewn within its exuberance are delicate statements about racialised disadvantage, violence and the power of creativity to transform sadness and rage.

“Undeniably magical … T feels revolutionary because it is: Black grief, love, celebration, and anger are undiffused. The subtle shifts from joy to pain or from boisterous to brooding all manifest in full view.” – Miami New TimesThis Golden Bear for Best Short Film winner – a genre-defying work about Miami’s annual commemoration of lost community members known as the T Ball – was described by the Berlinale shorts jury as “both heartbreaking and full of hope”.

The T Ball is an annual extravaganza wherein those who have left this world are remembered by those left behind through wildly designed T-shirts and handmade costumes. In Keisha Rae Witherspoon’s magnificent directorial debut, which also won awards at the Miami, Blackstar, Indie Grits and New Orleans film festivals, this celebration of death and life is captured in awe-inspiring, almost fantastical depictions that skilfully borrow from the lexicon of documentary. And yet strewn within its exuberance are delicate statements about racialised disadvantage, violence and the power of creativity to transform sadness and rage.

“Undeniably magical … T feels revolutionary because it is: Black grief, love, celebration, and anger are undiffused. The subtle shifts from joy to pain or from boisterous to brooding all manifest in full view.” – Miami New Times

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