“The Land” is the affectionate nickname for the city of Cleveland, OH. Steven Caple Jr.’s feature film debut shows a different side of the sports driven city that many do not have the opportunity to experience.
“The Land” follows a group of inner-city teenagers (Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker) who are in love with all things skateboards and skateboarding. The group makes money by stealing cars but got a little more than they expected when they stole a mid-level drug dealer’s car and found a bag of Molly in a vehicle. From there it was bye-bye carjacking, and hello drug dealing. What they didn’t expect was the conflict with the neighborhood’s sweet, but stern drug dealer/Queenpin named “Momma” (Linda Emond).
It would be easy (and lazy) for people to compare this film to 2015’s “Dope,” but this is different. The feel is more relatable. Cleveland, just like most rural cities in the Untied States is not minority dreams friendly. A lot of people of color have one goal and one goal only. That’s to make it big and leave the hood. That was the goal with these friends, making for an epic plot of twist and turns for this group. It’s relatable, you’ll want to see it again and again. Caple’s way of capturing the struggles of living in a rural city is relatable regardless of your background. This movie isn’t one to miss.
“The Land” is in New York and L.A. theaters today with a nationwide release coming soon.