When it Rains (Burnett, 1995)

The wonderful possibilities of improvisation and human compassion mesh together in this rhythmic short film by Charles Burnett. When it Rains follows Babu and his quest to raise rent money for a pleading woman and her child who’ve been put out on New Years Day. All the Burnett flourishes are present – the sense of helplessness, dread (a gangster threatens to kill the landlord!), and finally surprising hope found in the strangest places. Watch this gem multiple times and see how effortlessly voice over narration, music, and performance can meld when in the right hands.

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