"Its a Wonderful Plight" confronts Culture and True Price of GentrificationBy Taylor Edwards
Jun. 9 2021, Published 5:39 p.m. ET
In the heat of the summer, Vintage Rhodes Films is partnering with 1091 Pictures to bring the award-winning feature It’s A Wonderful Plight to commercial audiences everywhere. Available for purchase or rent June 15th on Amazon Prime Video, the film is written and directed by celebrated music producer Justin Rhodes, whose credits include Dr. Dre, Rick Ross, LeCrae, Styles.
Jokingly billed by its director as “A Christmas Carol meets Hamilton,” It’s A Wonderful Plight takes viewers through a musical history lesson.
Its main character Scott, a young white man in Dallas, learns the difference between appreciating Black culture and using his privilege to support Black and marginalized people in general. After calling out his roommate for holding antiquated prejudices towards African-Americans, Scott gets called out for being equally as detached from the “Plight” of the people behind the Hip-Hop culture he loves so dearly. Enters musician and “woke” spirit, Josef the Hotep, played by Rhodes, who appears in a hallucination to usher him from appropriation to allyship.
Over the course of its 75-minute runtime, the film takes viewers through a very thorough review of the plight of African-Americans – from slavery to the assassination of great voices like Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King Jr., and even Bob Marley, Tupac, and Notorious B.I.G.
Going beyond history, the film also utilizes heavy reenactments to address more recent acts of police brutality like the death of Botham Jean in Dallas and the true price of gentrification. While Scott (played by Brian Shorkey) may technically be the film’s lead character, It’s A Wonderful Plight avoids pandering to the “white gaze” as many other attempts to present a conversation on race relations via film have done.
The film also showcases Rhodes’ talents as a performing artist, producer, and songwriter, as his voice and music are the soundtracks that move Scott’s awakening along.
“The beauty of the film is that it tells a story told a thousand times, in a way that has never been told before. That’s extremely tough to do & I’m proud to be a part of the team that executed such greatness,” Rhodes says.
It’s A Wonderful Plight was released with limited screening in 2020 and won the monthly edition of the Oniros Film Awards. The film was also a 2020 selection at the San Francisco Black Film Festival and noted as one of the Top Films to watch in the summer of 2021 by the U.S.A. Today!
View the trailer for It’s A Wonderful PlightHERE