New Black Voices • 11m
A Loss and Prevention officer faces a difficult moral decision in Alexander Etseyatse’s “LP.” An attempted theft leads to a tense back-room stand-off in this riveting drama, placing complex characters in an agonizing dilemma. While it stays grounded as a personal account, it also raises larger questions with regard to societal priorities in issues of crime and punishment. Maximus is an LP (Loss & Prevention) Officer at a large retail store in New York City tasked with monitoring and circumventing theft. When he spots some suspicious activity on his security monitors, he acts quickly to prevent Marvin from leaving the store with several bags of stolen items. Though the tense opening scene is filmed as a breathless action sequence, the real conflict begins after the fact, in a dimly lit office where two men face off in a battle of ethics and empathy. When Marvin makes a personal appeal based on a surprise shared history, the film expands poignantly beyond the single incident. Etseyatse understands the inner workings of security protocol and the human stories caught up in the mess (he himself worked as a LP officer; interview here), and his film is confidently built and carried by terrific performances by Drew Morris and Lucano Atitola.
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