Every year the Sundance Film Festival produces several great films that most movie fans never see, but really should. This year, one of those films is Morris From America, a coming of age story with a twist. A24 has now released the first trailer for the film and if you're in the mood for a story that has as much humor as it does heart, this may be the film for you. Check it out.
Morris From America follows Morris Gentry, played by newcomer Markees Christmas, as a young boy whose father moves him from the US to Germany. As an African-American, aspiring hip-hop star, he's even more out of his element in Germany than he would have been at home. Now, he needs to find a way to fit in, while also being a boy who stands out more than anybody. Comedian Craig Robinson plays Morris' father, a professional soccer coach who has to make the move for work reasons. Along the way, Morris falls for a girl, because, as dad says, "it's always a girl" and begins to make friends and share his rap music.
Movies like Morris From America come around a lot, but it's not about being original here, a good coming of age story is simply about doing something interesting with the well-understood material. The contrast of an African-American family in Germany is certainly a significant one that we don't see all the time which helps the film stand out, much like its main character. The idea of Morris trying to fit in as an aspiring "gangsta" is the sort of story that we might expect to see in any film, and the concept could be charming, but by transplanting the plot to Germany it puts a new spin on what would otherwise be played out. We can imagine that your average German doesn't see a character like Morris often and would probably find him to be more interesting than odd, that's certainly the implication. Morris' new girlfriend seems thrilled to have a rapping boyfriend, even if he's not quite able to pull off the image quite as well. We don't think most ganstas choke on their smoke quite this much.
From what we can see here, Markees Christmas certainly looks to have the energy to carry a film like this. We're certainly interested to see more. We'll finally get our chance when Morris From America is released August 19, and exclusively on DirecTV starting July 7th. Are you interested in checking this one out? Let us know what you think of the trailer in the comments.