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Sorry to Bother You

Destiny is calling 

Year: 2018 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Boots Riley 
Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun  
An image from Sorry to Bother You

Sorry to Bother You is first and foremost a satire, and a very good one, that examines capitalism, labour and race in present-day America. Without spoiling too much, the story then takes an absurdist turn in its second half that makes it one of the most essential films of the year.

Rising star Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta, Get Out) plays Cassius ‘Cash’ Green, a broke artist forced to take a job as a telemarketer to pay the rent. Cash initially has little luck with sales, but soon finds success after he’s taught to use his ‘white voice’ for calls. However, his new position puts him at odds with his co-workers, who are in the process of unionising, forcing Cash to choose between power and his principles.

Writer-director Boots Riley, in his debut feature, paints an incredibly familiar portrait of an American dystopia, to the extent that you’ll wonder whether we’re already there. One thing that really stands out is Riley’s inclusion of Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as CEO of a tech start-up keen on shaking up the world of work.

Sorry to Bother You is a fascinating film that explores some important and topical themes in an unconventional way.

Iain Walker

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Screenings of this film:

2018/2019 Spring Term (digital)
2018/2019 Spring Term (digital)