When Ava DuVernay, director of the Oscar-nominated "Selma," relaunched AFFRM as ARRAY, she wanted to make her independent film distribution organization more applicable to a wide variety of marginalized communities. "Out of My Hand," one of two new feature films from ARRAY to hit theaters on Friday, is emblematic of the cross-cultural content that this new focus allows.
Directed by Brooklyn-based Japanese director Takeshi Fukunaga, "Out Of My Hand" follows Cisco (played by first-time actor Bishop Blay), a Liberian national who emigrates to New York City in the aftermath of a strike at the rubber plantation where he works. He navigates the city as a taxi driver and is forced to confront his past when he meets a former Liberian child soldier.
The film, which puts a new spin on the classic immigrant story trope, was also a labor of love for Fukunaga and his crew. Ryo Murakami, the film’s cinematographer and the director’s brother-in-law, died from malaria-related complications during filmmaking and the team doubled down on their commitment to finishing the project. "Out Of My Hand" is also notable for being only the second foreign-production narrative feature film to be filmed in Liberia.
ARRAY provided Colorlines the exclusive clip above. It depicts a hostile interaction between a rubber plant supervisor and Cisco and one of his coworkers. "Out Of My Hand" hits theaters Friday, November 13. Visit the film’s official website to find a screening near you.
*Note: This post has been corrected to reflect the fact that Ava DuVernay did not win an Oscar, but that her film "Selma" was Oscar-nominated.