All Films • 29-Aug-2017
Charlie Hill has been living in Cuba as a fugitive since 1971 after being accused of killing a police officer and hijacking a plane (he admits to the hijacking but not the killing). Here we have an intimate profile of the man today as he relives the incident while reading a letter to his nine-year-old son. In the 70’s, Hill joined a group of black separatists aiming to establish a new African nation-state in the southern United States. Violence followed and Hill was with a group of men who allegedly killed a New Mexico police officer and hijacked a plane to Cuba. Four decades later, he's still living there, but a shift in U.S. policy opens up the possibility of extradition and Hill reckons with the prospect of being sent home and imprisoned. Often we find Mr. Hill at the edge of the frame in somber contemplation. When he speaks, it’s a raspy, soft-spoken voice, portraying calm in the face of unimaginable anxiety. He’s a fascinating subject and director Kadri Koop captures him with delicate balance. A sense of unease seeps into each frame, Hill's eyes fixed on the floor or searching around the room. Koop doesn't absolve him from wrongdoing, but films him with compassion. Particularly moving is the final scene which finds Hill stepping through a field of sugar cane ruminating on his grandfather's courageous response to slavery.
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