Director: Cauleen Smith Run Time: 86 min. Format: DCP Rating: R Release Year: 1998
Starring: Toby Smith, April Barnett, Will Power
A lost treasure of 1990s DIY filmmaking, Cauleen Smith’s Drylongso embeds an incisive look at racial injustice within a lovingly handmade buddy movie/murder mystery/romance.
Alarmed by the rate at which the young Black men around her are dying—indeed, “becoming extinct,” as she sees it—brash Oakland art student Pica (Toby Smith) attempts to preserve their existence in Polaroid snapshots, along the way forging a friendship with a woman in an abusive relationship (April Barnett), experiencing love and loss, and being drawn into the search for a serial killer who is terrorizing the city.
Capturing the vibrant community spirit of Oakland in the nineties, Smith crafts both a rare cinematic celebration of Black female creativity and a moving elegy for a generation of lost African American men.