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Watch Adrian L. Burrell's 'The Game God(s)'

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We live in two Americas. This is a long-established fact in the United States, and it’s at the core of Adrian L. Burrell’s new film, The Game God(S), which premiered today via the New Yorker.

Across the film’s 17 minutes, Burrell, raised in Oakland, doesn’t dissect the myth of the American Dream so much as impart the visceral feeling of its central lie to the viewer. Throughout, Oakland poet laureate Ayodele Nzinga delivers a vivid monologue, as Burrell’s camera visits people who’ve made lives both in and out of the game—hustling, pimping, dealing—and navigating an alternate economy made necessary by American capitalism’s 400-year-old churn against Black people.

Burrell is no stranger to the ways the cards are stacked. In 2019, his footage of a Vallejo police officer assaulting him on his front porch showed how, as he told the New Yorker, “at any given moment you can be snatched back to 1942.”

Watch The Game God(S) above.

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