'Premature' Is A Gripping Account Of A Young Black Woman's Sexual Awakening [Sundance Review]
There is a sort of magic that occurs in those three wistful months just after high school graduation. It’s that short wrinkle in time before we leap eagerly into adulthood, whether heading to college or into some other adventure that will lead us into the next chapter of our lives. In mainstream films, this time is often romanticized. We’ve watched countless movies like Lady Bird, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower as the protagonists get swept up in the wonder of what’s next, and the familiar pain of what will be left behind. Rarely are Black faces at the center of these narratives.
With their rich and thoughtful romantic drama Premature, director Rashaad Ernesto Green and writer/star Zora Howard give us a Black love story set over the course of one summer. It is a narrative filled with lust, love, pain and the desperate hope of youth. Howard stars as Ayanna —a 17-year old Harlem native who spends those last hot New York summer days before college with her girlfriends at the park, and at various late night kickbacks. All set to attend an upstate New York college in the fall, the bold, no-nonsense writer finds herself enamored with Isaiah (Joshua Boone) —a slightly older New York transplant trying to carve out space for himself in the music industry.
From the moment we meet Ayanna on a stuffy subway car with her homegirls, she stands out. Brash and confident, she is as equally intuned with herself as she is with her clique. Quiet at first, she writes furiously in a notebook that never leaves her side. And yet, when prompted, she easily slips into the familiar camaraderie of her girls and their interactions with the young men of the city who are ceaseless with their advances.
Continue at Shadow and Act.