The Inheritance

The Inheritance

Ephraim Asili / 2020 / 100 minutes / USA

After nearly a decade exploring different facets of the African diaspora — and his own place within it — Ephraim Asili makes his feature-length debut with The Inheritance, an astonishing ensemble work set almost entirely within a West Philadelphia house where a community of young, Black artists and activists form a collective. A scripted drama of characters attempting to work towards political consensus — based partly on Asili’s own experiences in a Black liberationist group — weaves with a documentary recollection of the Philadelphia liberation group MOVE, the victim of a notorious police bombing in 1985. Ceaselessly finding commonalties between politics, humor, and philosophy, with Black authors and radicals at its edges, The Inheritance is a remarkable film about the world as we know it.



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  • “Critic’s Pick! A Black collective becomes a site of robust intellectual exchange, inspired artistry, joy and humor. The Inheritance feels like poetry visualized. A striking film.”

    — Lovia Gyarkey, The New York Times
  • “A joyous celebration of Blackness. The Inheritance is alive, drunk off the colors and textures of West Philadelphia.”

    — Ryan Lattanzio, Indiewire
  • “When Black Power meets the French New Wave in (where else) Philadelphia. Fascinating. Illuminating."

    — Ty Burr, Boston Globe
  • “One of the best movies of the year. An excellent debut. Observed with warmth and playful humor, without ever losing sight of serious political purposes and the potential for poetry therein.”

    — Kieron Corliss, Sight & Sound
  • “Wry, earnest, visually striking. An exhilarating addition to an emerging body of work — by artists as diverse as Bradford Young, Khalik Allah and Steve McQueen — that are forging a new language from film grammar.”

    — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
  • “Ephraim Asili’s boldly political, quietly experimental film asks what it means—and costs—for Black people to form intentional communities. Jarrel, Lockley, and McLean are expertly cast.”

    — Cassie Da Costa, Vanity Fair
  • “A dynamic inquiry into revolutionary culture and Black identity, not to mention the challenge of living with roommates.”

    — Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
  • "Unquestionably one of this year’s great films. History, art, ideology, and love make up the four pillars of Ephraim Asili’s The Inheritance, a thrillingly alive debut feature.”

    — Glen Heath Jr., The Film Stage
  • “Playful, erudite, and boundary-blurring.”

    — James Lattimer, Cinema Scope
  • “With The Inheritance, Asili exuberantly and innovatively reminds us of the legacies of Black thinkers, activists, and artists.”

    — Esme Hogeveen, Brooklyn Rail
  • “Literally colorful, unexpectedly funny.”

    Filmmaker Magazine
  • “A striking debut. Playfully didactic and joyous in its creation of a safe space to nurture, discuss, and celebrate Black culture.”

    — Serena Scateni, Hyperallergic
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