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Two Distant Strangers (2021)Two Distant Strangers (2021)

This sci-fi short film (32 minutes) was nominated for an Oscar in "Live Action" for its creative exploration of police violence against blacks. Set in New York City, a young, black graphic artist named Carter awakens one morning after a horrible nightmare about his violent encounter with a white police officer. But this is a recurring nightmare of the worst sort—all he wants to do is to get home to feed his dog, but the dream loop recurs 99 times. He's thus forced to relive the trauma, and unable to escape it. Carter asks his date Perri, "What would you do if every day someone tried to kill you?" Her response?  "I'd shoot 'em. Wanna borrow my gun?" Shocked, Carter exclaims, "you have a gun?!" To which Perri responds, "Damn right I got a gun. I'm a black woman in America." The film concludes by scrolling the names of several dozen victims of police violence, encouraging viewers to "say their names, remember their names." Right after its release on Netflix, Two Distant Strangers was one of its Top Ten films. 

Dan Clendenin:

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