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Roger Ebert: “‘I Will Follow’ Is One Of The Best Films I’ve Seen About Coming To Terms W/ The Death Of A Loved One”

I was already expecting the film to open strong, given all the inter-web buzz leading up next Friday’s inaugural AFFRM release of Ava DuVernay’s I Will Follow. I think the below nationally televised review from America’s most popular movie critic, Roger Ebert, should only help… especially with some crossover interest. It’s rare that a film of this nature gets this kind of a plug. I Will Follow opens March 11th in select cities. Visit the film’s website HERE for details.

29 comments to Roger Ebert: “‘I Will Follow’ Is One Of The Best Films I’ve Seen About Coming To Terms W/ The Death Of A Loved One”

  • Patra Reynolds-Brown

    I want to see this soooo bad! When is it coming to Dallas!!!???

  • It looks beautiful, if nothing else. Give me a good-looking film with gorgeous lighting and luscious cinematography and I can forgive a lot.:-)

    Really looking forward to this.

  • “America’s most popular movie critic, Roger Ebert”

    And you know what, although there are blurp whores and janky reviewers, I’ve lived and died by Ebert’s reviews. Unlike other reviewers like Jeffery Lyons and Leonard Maltin, Ebert has never really failed me. Granted he’s missed the mark on movies with a “black theme” , but I am aware of his inabilty to relate to some of our culture differences, nuances, humor, etc, so I take that into account when a movie has a “black” theme. So yeah, I am glad to hear that Ebert enoyed this movie.

    But Patra, hold tight and sing satisfied, cuz one day, somewhere close to you, the movie will arrive. However, for me, it’s a 3 hour drive, or the long wait for a DVD release. Heck, I’ve been waiting for a week to receive a copy of “Skin”… through my library. The movie was not even in our library system, but they promised they would find one. I could pay for a copy ( $25-$30 on-line) but I’ll wait, they said it’s on it’s way.

  • Vanessa

    I’m looking forward to this movie!

  • etomi

    This looks like a “must-see”, and I hope to. However, I live in Delaware, where, unfortunately, the black films that show here are usually here and gone in one week, and quality black films whip by us – without stopping – on their way to Philly.
    I have also put much faith in Ebert’s reviews, and while I agree with CareyCarey that he has sometimes missed the mark on some movies with African American themes, I think the boy is trying. BTW, his wife is African American, so maybe he is channeling her perspective. It’s possible. (smile)

  • I want to see the movie but not because of Ebert I think he uses kids gloves when reviewing black movies. Its annoying as hell

    • That’s interesting. I’ve never considered his reviews as soft. What do you mean by “kids gloves”. He may be out of the loop because that’s the hand he’s been dealt, but annoying?

      • Your comment reminded me of this discussion from last summer, which you may have not seen yet:

        • Yep. I see what you mean. Everything “Ebert” was analized in that post. I went back and read all the comments. That was a deep discussion.

          Many comments caught my eye but the following sorta relates to the “kid gloves or not kid gloves”:

          Valerie: ” That’s what sets Ebert apart for me. He is aware and unafraid of the possibility that his readers and viewers do have minds of their own”

          “I don’t doubt there are people out there who *still* think Ebert is a racist because of the poor review he gave Perry’s film debut, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”

          “And finally, if Armond White can produce evidence of Ebert *ever* liking, say, three-quarters of the movies reviewed in a consecutive two-week period of ANY of the programs he did, those with Siskel and without, the popcorn’s on me!”

  • “BTW, his wife is African American, so maybe he is channeling her perspective. It’s possible. (smile)”

    Well, I actually met them at a film festival. At the time I didn’t know he was married to a black woman. I was blown away. Not Roger Ebert! The whitest of white guys with a size 18 black woman, didn’t seem right to me.

    Anyway, later that day(before I knew their status) I found myself sitting next to him as we both watched a movie’s premire. Well hell, this was a good time to ask him about his chocolate honey and his opinion of the movie. As the lights came up, I made my move with a little slow chit chat. Then, I said, “what did you think about the movie?”. With a half smile he said, “I can’t tell you that”. Okay, ol’dude gets paid for his opinions, so I was cool with that. So, now it was time for the big question “who is that woman and what does she mean to you?”. He looked at me as if I’d just asked him to give me a tongue kiss. He gave me his midwestern white guy mean-mug, and said, that’s my wife. I mean, he was giving me this “WHAT WHAT! Whatcha wanna do now Mfer” look. Now, although his physical presence wouldn’t scare a 3rd grader, and I don’t know who’s channeling who, but that day, he scared the sh*t out of me. I’ve been his best fan every since.

    • JMac

      No you didn’t!! I can’t believe that. I won’t.

      I’ve only seen them from afar a couple times when he goes to the annual film festival in Champaign. Chaz is such a sweet pretty lady. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that?

      Anyway, looks like a great movie. Hope it plays in more theaters now that it has Ebert’s thumbs up.

      • Well JMac, unfortunately it’s true. And, I have pictures. Would you like to place a small wager? :-)

        But I thought you we’re from the East Coast? I know a little something about Champaign. Well, actually, I know a lot about Champaign. I didn’t met Ebert there, but there’s an Air Force Base close by, in Rantoul.


        Well, I better not tell those stories because you won’t believe me anyway.

        Anyway, on another personal note, I can’t wait to see “I will follow”. I lost my wife to cancer (7 years ago) so I am interested to see how this film “handles” the issue. I wonder if I should take tissues?

        • JMac

          If you say you have pics I’ll take your word for it. I was a Midwesterner (champaign and chi town) for about 5-6 years. Back down south now in TN but probably moving back to NC coast again. Can’t stand living in the same place too long.

          So sorry about your wife. I wouldn’t even try to handle a movie like this if someone so close to me had died. Brave guy.

  • You can’t ask for any kinder words by a critic. And Ebert knows his stuff!

  • MulletLove

    This looks wonderful! Ah, Shadow and Act, I can’t keep up with you guys and all these great titles. I’ll try to keep an eye for this one–if it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle with a whole lot of other things. Thanks for the clip.

  • D.W.

    Well, “I Will Follow” Mr. Ebert to the screen on March 11th. Cheesy? Don’t judge. ;)

    This makes my soul smile.

  • All I can say is YAY! Now we all have to make it box office gold and go see it.

  • I hear you, it’s not good to let grass grow under your feet.

    “Brave guy”

    No, not at all. And now we’re going deep.

    I am of the firm belief that everything we do is fueled by an emotion. Conscious or not, subtle or in your face, an emotion is the impetus behind everything we do.

    Consequently, in order for me to move forward in my life, I had to study how and way I do the things I do (cry, complain, blame, hide my emotions or run from them, etc) so that I would never let my feeling/emotions control me – again. So, in reference to the death of a loved one (we were together for 25 years) some individuals choose to languish in the pain of their passing, or can’t find a way to let it go.

    3 weeks before my wife passed away, she actually told me not to sit around crying for her because someone needs me. I was lost for words. Of course I cried, but I understood her words.

    If I happen to cry while watching the movie, they will not be tears of pain.

    Okay, now with your permission can I get off Oprah’s couch? *smile*

    In the following, there’s a picture of my wife and I. In fact (to bring this back to this post) it’s one of the pictures I took at the film festival in which I met Rodger Ebert and his wife.


  • Above directed @ JMac.

  • Jason

    I’m not an Ebert fan so I could care less what he likes but I want to see this.

  • AVA

    Appreciate the dialogue around the film everyone!

    @Patra: Stay tuned on Texas. Trying!
    @Edwina: Thanks for the compliment!
    @Carey Carey: “Glad to hear that Ebert enjoyed this movie.” Me too!
    @Vanessa, @Clnmike, @JMac, @Jason: Glad you want to see it! Hope you do!
    @Etomi: Cherry Hill!!!
    @Maddy: Thx for that.
    @Karen: I agree!!!!
    @DW: My personal mantra. Cheese is good :)
    @MulletLove: Best. Name. Ever.
    @Noelani: Woohoo! Yes! Thanks, sis!

    And @Tambay… Thank you for the thoughtful review and your comprehensive coverage of AFFRM and I WILL FOLLOW. This site is so important to all of us who make and love black film. My thanks to you, Sergio, Noelani, Ms. Woo and the whole S&A crew. Whoop Whoop!

    Ever onward,

    Ava DuVernay

    • Hello Ava,

      Thanks for stopping by our humble Abode. I don’t know about anybody else, but you made my day.

      And btw, I hit your private line *snicker* but Tilane answered your phone. After, or when she gives you my message, holla at a brotha.

      I am patiently waiting for a little “hookup” love.

      • Zeus

        Please help him become a celebrity! :)

        • Well Zeus, I see you like hanging around my spots. So, run, run, run but you sure can’t hide.
          VOTE FOR ME and I’ll set you free. Zeus, Rap on, brother, rap on.

          Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher, not Zeus. And it seems nobody’s interested in learning (not Zeus) but the teacher. segregation, determination,demonstration, integration, aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation. Find some peace.

          I mean, I’m just saying… you seem like a ball of confusion. Come on man, don’t hate the playah, find your own lane. Make a wish upon your own star. And excuse me if my entertainment, fun and joy, is getting in your way.

  • mf

    I had the good fortune to see this film at the AFI fest in Hollywood. A beautiful nuanced meditation on loss, love and healing. Loved the scenes between Salli and Omari – hot, hot, hot! Lol. And Michole (the daughter) is great. The whole film is, as Ebert commented, deeply true. Don’t miss it!