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24 September 2014

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May 2004
Robin's Hood
Robin's Hood
Robin's Hood
Directed by: Sara Millman
With: Clody Cates, Khatee V Turner
Country: USA
Year of Production: 2003
Running Time: 81 minutes

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Hasta la vista Kevin Costner! Welcome to the hip hop homo hood of Robin and Brooklyn. The debut feature from Sara Millman is a modern take on the more familiar 'steal from the rich to give to the poor' tale.

Picture the scene: Robin, a disillusioned social worker trying to keep on the right side of her boss, quits one day in anger when she gets caught bending the rules.

A chance encounter with Brooklyn (aka Maid Marion) a butch French mechanic and erstwhile thief, gives Robin the opportunity to do some creative robbing for her local Oakland neighbourhood (a modern day Sherwood Forest) and fall in love with her heroic bandit. The tyranny of King John has morphed into the institutionalised racism and oppression that drives people into drugs and crime.

Millman's screenplay is original and unpredictable and the characters ring true. There are moving and authentic performances and genuine on-screen chemistry between the two leads (Clody Cates and Khatee V Turner). The digital photography tenderly captures their moments of love and intimacy. Grounded in a thumping hip hop soundtrack, the film manages to capture the oppression and vibrancy of an inner city community and paint a little pocket of romance within it all.

This no budget digital feature made with the goodwill and support of the local queer hood is a real winner. A re-working of the classic fable, but this time it's got soul.

By Selina Robertson

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