Brian Banks, Sherri Sheppard, and Essence entertainment director Cori Murray hosted the Atlanta screening for the new film, Brian Banks.
The true and inspirational story of Brian Banks played by Aldis Hodge is about an All-American high school football star, committed to attending the University of Southern California, who finds his life upended when he is wrongly convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Despite lack of evidence, Banks is railroaded through a broken justice system and sentenced to a decade of prison and probation. Years later, with the support of Justin Brooks played by Greg Kinnear and the California Innocence Project, Banks fights to reclaim his life and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NFL.
The Brian Banks movie is not uncommon when it comes to a black man vs. the justice system in America, however, the triumph that Brian eventually experiences is something we all feel like we can share in during many parts of the film. Aldis Hodge, in my opinion, is one of the most emotionally convincing actors I have ever seen. Whether he is angry, joking or mourning the loss of something major, he has a way of making you truly believe and feel every emotion he is putting out on the screen. He brought the story of Brian Banks to life. Sherri Sheppard is someone who has been known for her comedy for over 2 decades but she embodied every bit of who we didn’t know Leomia Meyers, the mother of Brian Banks is and was during those trying times. She mentioned during the screening event that this was a role where she was up against some strong competition from some leading ladies in Hollywood but she never gave up. “When you have a dream, fight for it and never give up,” she said.
The emotions that she displayed on that screen any man, woman or child can relate too. Loving someone who you can’t protect, looking at someone who has lost hope, who has been done wrong and the only thing you can do is love them while remaining faithful is hard to do but Leomie did just that for her son. She never gave up hope nor did she ever leave his side. In the end, the truth, unfortunately, doesn’t always prevail but this is one of those rare cases. During the movie, Brian, Leomie, Justin and many other characters teach us the power of truth, the power of resilience and the power of belief. This is another great movie that 2019 has brought us. This is a movie that will stand the test of time and remain in the minds of all. I truly advise people of all races to see this. In the end, you learn that the most powerful tool a person has is a belief in themselves. When you believe in you, nothing or no one can stop you.
Special guest that attended the screening included Jahi Winston ( Proud Mary, The New Edition Story), Jelani Winston (American Soul), T.C. Carson (Living Single), George Lott, Jasmine Burke (Saints and Sinners), Marlo Hampton (RHOA), Kandi Burruss (RHOA) and many more.
The Brian Banks Movie will be in theaters everywhere August 9.