If you followed my Sundance journey this year on Twitter, then you already know I made it through my entire Sundance 2022 watch list! Which is a blessing, ’cause sis almost gave TF up after suffering through a few. But after ranking all of my Sundance 2022 films on Letterboxd, from best to worst, I’m not shocked these films below made the list!
I am shocked that 2 documentaries snuck it’s way into my top 5 though! I legit hate documentaries, but when I say Black folks have been doing their damn thing with docs lately, that’s a true understatement.
These were the films that I absolutely loved from the moment I turned them on, to the moment I had to sadly turn it off. Or you know, when Sundance shut it down for me ’cause I passed the 5 hour view limit, or whatever.
So if you’re looking to check out a few films that premiered at Sundance this year, these are the ones you HAVE to see!
Top 5: Best Sundance 2022 Films
“892” tells the heartbreaking story of Brian Brown-Easley …
Who can’t seem to get his god damn disability check from the Veterans Affairs office! On the brink of homelessness, Brian struggles to keep in good spirits, and stay in his daughter’s life.
But when his many cries for help are ignored, Brian takes matters into his own hand.
Proving that the government only pays attention when lives are literally at stake.
With one card left to play, Brian walks into a Wells Fargo Bank and secretly tells a bank teller that he’s got a bomb, hoping his extreme efforts will get the VA’s attention.
But as the situation escalates from a calm hostage takeover, to an intense fight for Brian’s life, and the respect that he’s long overdue, Brian begs the media to help him share his story, so he can get what he’s owed before his time is cut short.
I’d be lying right now if I said I had a great time watching 892, because let’s be honest, this shit is intense.
I couldn’t breathe or move for pretty much the entire film! At one point, I had to literally remind myself to breathe. John Boyega’s performance is POWERFUL!
And even though the 892 movie is a hard reality pill to swallow, it’s an incredible film, and one everyone should watch.
Straight-A college student Kunle and his laid-back best friend, Sean, are pretty much opposites.
And even though they’re both Black male students, going to the same school, rooming in the same house, they clearly come from two different worlds.
So when Kunle and Sean find a passed out white girl in their home on the night they’re planning on becoming legends, they’re torn on whether they should pause their epic night of partying to help, or turn a blind eye and mind their muhf*cking business.
Add another “brown kid” to the mix, their roommate Carlos …
Who was too busy high, playing video games to notice what TF was going down, as he sat in the house while the intruder broke in, and the stakes are even higher.
But the more time the boys spend trying to figuring out the best way to handle their crazy situation, the less time they have to add themselves to the school’s Wall of Fame.
And with their lives, reputation, and Kunle’s final project at stake, “Emergency” takes us all on a wild ride, nobody TF asked for!
Proving that Black folks are always on their own in emergency situations, Carey Williams’ second Sundance film, is one not to be missed. This was EXACTLY what I needed it to be.
And if you still haven’t watched The Harder They Fall and weren’t already notified … RJ Cyler is THE MAN! He’s such a great actor!
We should probably also note that Carey Williams is becoming one of my fave directors. (R#J, his debut film last year, was one of my faves. So I can’t wait to watch both of these films again.)
But don’t let the humor in “Emergency” distract you, because that ending? Heart wrenching! 892 and Emergency both did exactly what Judas and The Black Messiah did at the ending last year.
So yeah, brace yourself for impact!
The ending hits HARD!
3. We Need To Talk About Cosby
The title is self explanatory — but the “We Need To Talk About Cosby” documentary isn’t what you think it is.
It’s so much more!
Yes, it highlights survivors and their stories, and those are incredibly hard to watch.
But W Kamau Bell also highlights the good Cosby did. So contrary to what most believe, this documentary isn’t 4 hours of pure depression, and it’s not as hard to watch as I thought it would be.
The contrast of good vs evil, will hopefully be enough to wake even the biggest Cosby fans up.
We all need to face what he’s done, so we can make sure this never happens again.
To continue to turn a blind eye to his actions, gives others the security they need to repeat what he’s done. So even though it’s hard to watch to come to grips with his horror-filled past, it’s necessary.
And trust me, no matter how much you love this man and what he used to represent, after you get through the first 2 parts of this series, his so called “good deeds for the community” begin to pale in comparison to his disgusting crimes, which become too loud to ignore.
And if I’m being completely honest here, those “good deeds” also start to look like just “really good” cover stories for his sickening behavior.
I didn’t think this documentary would hold my attention the way it did, but it’s truly a great film! And like I said before … I usually hate documentaries! But this one was definitely worth the watch.
W Kamau Bell did a great job!
We needed this. So if you grew up on Cosby, trust me when I say, this one was made with you in mind, and it’s definitely something you should consider watching.
In “F^¢k ‘Em R!ght B@¢k”, Sammy is a queer, Black, aspiring Baltimore rapper who’s a stickler for the rules.
To make matters worse, he needs his vengeful day boss to sign off on his PTO so he can go on tour. Which means he HAS to stay sober.
But after a steamy night, Sammy finds himself dodging his day job, and his annoying boss — who would love nothing more than to see him get in trouble, after accidentally consuming an edible that was … dare I say, as chocolatey as the man he woke up next to?
In this hilarious short film, that feels more like the beginning of a great Netflix series …
Sammy’s friend Yolanda attempts to help him quickly sober up before he has to return to work for his random drug test.
“F^¢k ‘Em R!ght B@¢k” is relatable, hilarious, and a big reminder that it pays to know the rules … so read y’all handbooks children!
But quite frankly, this short film literally took me by surprise, and is one of the best shorts I’ve ever seen.
This is the kind of joy I want from a tv series! Please don’t skip this one!
5. Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Triology
Last, but not least, on this list is Kanye’s new documentary!
Now I know he’s currently a hot mess in the news right now, and dealing with the manifestations he brought to life from his hit song “All of the Lights”.
But I can’t lie … getting to see Kanye as a young adult, has to be one of the most fascinating things I’ve seen in a long time. Even as someone who hates documentaries.
And part 1 of this docu-series is done so well that it’s hard not to be intrigued about what’s to come, so I’m excited for parts 2 and 3.
“Jeen-Yuhs”, pronounced as genius, premieres on Netflix on Feb 16th, and documents Kanye’s life as an emerging superstar, charting his career, filmed over two decades.
Now while I only got to see part 1 during the virtual Sundance fest, I can say this series is going to be GOOD. Not only do we get a real look at what Kanye dealt with in the studio, as a young, confident artist trying to make it.
We also get a few clips of Donda, his mother, who inspired him in more ways than one. (And happens to remind me so much of my aunt who passed a few years ago.)
Part 1 of Jeen-Yuhs basically spotlights the Kanye I refer to when I say “I miss the old Kanye”.
His hunger for success, and determination is like no other, and if you grew up listening to his music, this is definitely a must watch for you.
Even if you currently hate him at this very moment, part 1 shows us that Kanye was once just a regular Chicago kid with a dream … that eventually came true.
And there you have it folks! My top 5 films of Sundance 2022, the BEST of the fest.
So if you come across these films this year, don’t sleep on them!
And if you’re looking for full reviews, then hang on there partna! Those are coming up next.
So bookmark this site and check back in a few days to start reading what I really thought about these Sundance 2022 films.