Accepting people not as we conceive them, but as they are, has never been easy, but it is an irrevocable presupposition for the fullness of the civilizing process. Individuals with a minimum of decorum are accustomed from an early age to repress their outbursts of intolerance, their impulses of prejudice, their natural tendency towards judgments of all kinds, policing themselves in order not to let themselves be corrupted by the poison of segregation. Expressing the appreciation that you want them to have for us, much more than a good habit, should be an exercise, a practice that frees us from the damnation of anger, a feeling that attacks man almost always without a reason to justify it. This inglorious but comforting task of understanding the other, giving them a word of encouragement, a frank, unarmed smile, giving them a look of kindness that is, often requires such a sacrifice from us that it is as if we were launching ourselves to an almost endless journey towards that life, in which the circumstances that we consider to be truly absurd are the most trivial thing that can exist.
The human being will never get rid of the many questions that bother him. A structural problem in many countries even today, racial discrimination gives rise to many discussions – all to some extent linked to the inability to see what can be so obscure in the spirit, in our spirit, that it prevents us from recognizing as equal people worthy of the same. respect, who suffers and sweats like us. A first-rate performer, director Denzel Washington makes “A Limit Between Us” (2016) the cry for help of a sad man, cornered by the memory of failures that continue to haunt him and imprison him in the spiral of anger and panic of himself that reduces him to a pale image of what he used to be, a heritage for which he will be remembered by those he cannot love and whose love is slowly killing him. This is perhaps the big question in a story whose axis has been the debate of social issues of central relevance since always, but which becomes even more painful when pointing to such an unusual outcome, full of subtleties and very complex small decisions.
Already with some experience in directing, Washington does well in transposing to the screen the voluminous script by August Wilson (1945-2005), the author of the play of the same name. A resounding success on Broadway, Wilson wrote “Fences” in 1983 and only four years later, in 1987, did his work gain ground on the world’s most famous commercial theater circuit. Counting on this one, there were three montages; Washington was the protagonist of the second one, in 2010 — when it received ten Tony nominations, the biggest decoration for theater productions in the United States, including Best Actor and Best Actress — and the show returned to the scene of the most sought-after spotlight in New York in 2014. In 2016, “Fences” the partnership of Wilson and its male protagonist yielded one of the most talked about films in the history of the Academy, also remembered as a possible winner in 2017 (it lost to “Moonlight”, by Barry Jenkins, which confirmed the tendency to grace a plot focused on racial themes).
At first glance, it is Washington’s character who really seems to matter in the plot, but as Wilson’s text gains depth and a major twist is imposed, Viola Davis is the one who comes to dominate the narrative. The two are Troy and Rose Maxson, a middle-aged couple in Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, during the 1950s. Troy, the garbage collector who lived in Washington, wanted to be a baseball star and would have had a chance, if the fact that he started at the age of forty, a time when professional athletes have either retired or are on the fast track towards the end of their careers. Any minimally normal person sees their own limitations, but Troy always finds a way to twist the truth in his favor, victimize himself and, worst of all, transfer responsibility for his failures to those around him. At this point, Wilson’s text signals a psychopathy that intensifies over time and is ratified precisely at the moment when Davis, winner of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role — I have my thoughts on whether SHE is the central character, both in the play and in of the feature — gains the spotlight that gives new life to “Um Limite Entre Nós”. Rose’s growing clashes with her husband are only lost in dramatic verve to the clashes that Washington’s character arranges with Cory, the youngest son played by Jovan Adepo, presented with an almost didactic emphasis. The only ones Troy seems to get along with are eldest son Lyons, by Russell Hornsby, from a previous marriage, and friend Jim Bono, Stephen McKinley Henderson’s comedic breath, whom he had met under less than honorable circumstances.
Wilson manages to make racism lend itself to introducing equally sensitive discussions, such as machismo, misogyny, ageism and mental illness, personified in Gabe, Troy’s younger brother, neurologically compromised after a serious injury while serving on the front lines. in World War II (1939-1945). The long shot of the last scene, opening to the cloudy Pittsburgh sky from the backyard of the humble house in which the Maxsons spend the years, lightens the patriarch’s weight on the family, which does not absolve him for all the abuse and all the shame, but still loving him.
Movie: A Boundary Between Us
Direction: Denzel Washington