August the First (2007)

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First-time director Lanre Olabisi's relentless and devastating family drama August the First observes the calamities that erupt for the deeply dysfunctional Ibirinde clan, when they gather to celebrate son Tunde's high school graduation. Matters in the household are already problematic enough - Rhonda, the mother, slips headfirst into alcoholism; Simisola, Tunde's older sister, distances herself emotionally; and Ade, the oldest son, bombards Tunde with a relentless barrage of criticisms - but the arrival of long-estranged father Dipo is what truly ignites the powder keg. As the night unfurls, Dipo's most unwelcome appearance unveils long-buried hidden agendas and dark, twisted secrets from the past that ultimately tear the Ibirinde family to shreds. Ian Alsup, D. Rubin Green and Joy Merriweather co-star; Olabisi co-authored the script with Shawn Alexander.

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Lanre Olabisi's first feature offers an intricate portrait of relationships and individuals, histories and hopes.

Sep 12, 2008 | Rating: 6/10

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