By Jose Cruz
After our screening of Gun Hill Road, we were a little shocked to find out that this 2011 Sundance Jury winner of a film is actually the first feature project of 33 year-old Director Rashaad Ernesto Green. The subject matter of Gun Hill, a Latino family struggling to stay together as the father returns from prison to find a son undergoing a sexual transformation, is not an easy story to tell. Yet somehow Rashaad pulls it off like a veteran and we are left with a movie that shows the beautiful bond and love that is family.
The Afro-Tino Bronx native spent ten years working as an actor before he moved behind the camera. In 2007 he founded Mi Alma Films with the purpose of telling stories deeply rooted in the universal human experience. While the narrative in Gun Hill is far from Universal (Macho Latino dad with a transsexual son) their is a realness to the family and the Bronx city streets that is undeniable. There is an honesty in the film that at times while even uncomfortable, can not be ignored as you see the family members cope each with their own life struggles. The film is truly the work of a new generation director willing to show subject matters their parents didn’t discuss. And one side note- the soundtrack is “Banging!”
To tackle the sensitive subject matter in Gun Hill Road as his first project took both guts and talent. Knowing all this, we jumped at the chance to sit down with Rasheed one-on-one and pick his brain with our (soon to be patented) “Hot Tamale Round.”
Gun Hill Road stars Esai Morales, Judy Reyes and Harmony Santana.
What historic figure do you admire the most?
That’s really hard to say. The world is always changing, along with history. Roberto Clemente has a very special place in my heart.
Which living person do you admire the most?
After my own brother, I would say that I really admire President Obama. He’s taken some knocks in office, but he’s still standing and trying his best to make our world a better place.
Which characteristic of yours you like the least?
I can be really intense sometimes.
What do you dislike most about others?
What is your greatest fear?
Losing a loved one.
When do you lie?
To prevent from hurting someone I love.
Which living person do you dislike the most?
My ex-wife. Just kidding. She knows I love her.
What do you regret?
I regret having to learn the same lesson twice.
Who’s the great love of your life?
What’s your major success in life?
I wake up everyday and get to do what I love.
Where would your rather live, near the sea or on a hill?
Near the sea, preferably on a beach.
What’s your favorite name?
Who would play you in a bio?
What book are you reading right now?
What is your favorite movie?
How would you like to die?
If you could have dinner with 3 people already deceased, who would they be?
Malcolm X, Jesus, and my grandpa.
Today I want to…
Create something new.