For the Cause | Chicago Reader

For the Cause

A successful lawyer agrees to defend her estranged father, a former Black Panther who fled to Canada three decades earlier after shooting a police officer. Katherine Nero's debut feature, shot mainly on the south side of Chicago, uses this melodramatic premise to ruminate on the legacy of black radicalism and the contemporary state of the black middle class. It may be schematic in its organization (and somewhat plain in its visual style), but what it has to say isn't at all simple, and much of the dialogue conveys the messiness of real life. One lengthy scene depicting the dissolution of the lawyer's relationship with her longtime boyfriend is particularly effective, recasting the movie's political themes on an intimate scale.


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