The Sundance film festival may have been built on a bedrock of showcasing some of the boldest and most iconic voices in independent film, from Reservoir Dogs to Hoop Dreams, but some would argue that over the years the institution has come to be associated with attracting a certain type of indie film: gentrified tales of twee people doing twee things. Last year, Get Out bucked old trends. This year, Sorry to Bother You is completely infiltrating the system.
The debut film of Boots Riley, until now known as a member of political hip-hop group the Coup, extends the director’s cultural wit into a modern-day parable about black voices (literally) learning how to make white people money in a world that rewards white voices (literally).
Starring Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Atlanta’s Darius) as a black telemarketer who rises to infamy through his uncanny ability to connect with his caucasian customers through a magical white man’s voice (provided by the wonderfully Wonderbread cadence of David Cross), alongside Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer, Sorry to Bother You’s story of successfully walking it and talking it into white-dominated institutions is just as reflective of our current times as it is the making of the actual film itself .
Riley’s film, a story that he’s spent decades trying to tell, is finally being released on July 13th. The good news is, you don’t need to wait until everyone’s already talking about it — we’re giving away some tickets for advance screenings of Sorry to Bother You, with Boots Riley in attendance for a Q&A, on June 17th. The film will be in theatres everywhere on July 13th.