We tend to judge what we don’t know, as complicated as another culture or as simple as the neighbor across the street who we don’t know. But in the film Blindspotting, we have a startling look into the world of two lifelong friends, one black and one white, who have much to teach us about walking a mile in another person’s shoes.
Collin (Daveed Diggs) has three days left on his probation. As a convict, he knows intellectually that he needs to keep his life clear of any illegal offenses that could send him back to prison. His white friend Miles (Rafael Casal) loves him like his brother from another mother, but he’s clueless to the pitfalls facing Collin, smoking up, carrying a gun, and seeking confrontation aimlessly. When Collin sees a white cop (Ethan Embry) gun down an unarmed black man, his sense of justice is inflamed, as he tries to keep his head down for the remainder of his probation.
Blindspotting challenges us on multiple levels to understand others who have lives different from ours, a timely expose on how another life works. While Collin is hardworking and conscientious, his non-convicted best friend is explosive, erratic, and lacking in conviction. Collin wants to win back his old girlfriend, the receptionist at the moving company where he works with Miles, while Miles’ girlfriend (and baby mama) puts up with his nonsense over and over again. But while the two may be different, they’re also wrestling with a similar desire to be part of something, to be welcomed in the community: Collin nearly needs to hide his blackness to not be picked off; Miles wears a gold grill to try and make himself appear more gangster, more black.
The film is hilarious, stretching our understanding of a buddy movie over race, culture, and language, but it is also deeply insightful and dangerous: raising questions about race, guns, violence, justice, law, and more. While we might be laughing along, Blindspotting sets us up to have more questions about ourselves and the way we think, about the way we look at each other, and about the way we act when our defenses are threatened.
Special features include “Straight from Town: Making Blindspotting,” the director (Carlos Lopez Estrada) diary along with commentary, deleted scenes, and audio commentary from Diggs and Casal.