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Master – Sundance Review

Mariama Diallo, remember this name. This name will continue to come up long past Sundance 2022, this name will be preceded by Academy Award Nominee/Winner one day and one day soon if she continues down this wonderful path she has started on. If you want to talk about a feature debut that absolutely destroys the human spirit. Master can simply be described as the love child of Get Out, Sorry to Bother You and Dear White People. Strap yourself in as there is a new emerging voice of brilliance breaking out onto the scene, and she doesn’t hold back.

Regina Hall stars at Gail Bishop who has a protective relationship over one of the students at her university, Jasmine played by Zoe Renee, as she understands on a deeper connection what she is going through in this prominently white university. While a sinister ghost story makes its rounds throughout the dorm, there is something even more sinister that lurks the mind of Gail as she starts to see the horrors that occurred on the ground’s decades prior.

What makes Master such a powerful and disturbing feature debut is the subject matter, of course, but the way it is handled and the way it is done is what makes it stand out. It’s not just a story of racism and privilege, it’s a story of the hardship of attending first year university and not fitting in, the hardship of trying to break free of expectations, of trying to redefine expectations, of trying to be someone you’re not to an extent. The way that Mariama Diallo tells this story is not only powerful, but also haunting and shocking and downright disturbing that will leave you thinking about what you just watched for days if not weeks after you see it. She is a voice to look out for in the future, with a debut that will sit with you for a very long time.

Regina Hall and Zoe Renee both absolutely dominate the screen when they’re present and give their performances. They steal every moment they’re on screen and when they’re on screen together it is an explosion of excellence. The innocence provided by Zoe Renee and the veteran nuance and knowing something else is lurking around together brings horrors and disturbing realities to the forefront of this masterful debut.

Master is not to be missed, it is a deeply dark powerful film that will be examined and studied for years to come. Mariama Diallo has cemented herself as a voice to watch out for in the coming years with this strong debut and will flourish as a director and screenwriter with these beautifully haunting films.

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Master – Sundance Review


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About The Author

My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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