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“The Obituary of Tunde Johnson’ explores being Black and gay in America

In The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, Emmy Award winning-director Ali LeRoi (Everybody Hates Chris) and debut Nigerian screenwriter Stanley Kalu gives us a glimpse into the intersectional experience of being Black and gay in America. 

Set in Southern California, gay, wealthy, Nigerian-American teen Tunde Johnson (Steven Silver,13 Reasons Why) struggles with his identity, coming out to his parents and a closeted boyfriend who is also dating his best female friend. 

After being shot to death by White police officers during a traffic stop, Tunde is caught in a time loop. The time loop makes him relive his final day over and over again and face some difficult truths about himself and his life, symbolizing the repeated occurrences of Black people dying at the hands of White police officers in America. 

In 2018, Stanley Kalu’s script won The Launch Million Dollar Competition, where it was given a budget of $1 million. After debuting in 2019, the film was well-received at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was awarded Next Wave in 2019. It also won the Audience Award at Outfest that year. 

Out Magazine recently premiered the trailer for The Obituary of Tunde Johnson and announced that it is now available for widespread release. 

Kalu told Out Magazine in 2019: “I wanted to piece together these experiences of violence that I’ve seen … to show what life is like against death and what it feels like to be devalued and to constantly die every day, which I think is the experience of [people of color] in America. Maybe people would stop being such assholes.”

The Obituary of Tunde Johnson will be in theaters and On Demand February 26th.

Watch the trailer below.

BWM Staff

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