This week, we welcomed director Elegance Bratton and cast members Jeremy Pope, Gabrielle Union, and Raúl Castillo, and producers Effie Brown and Chester Algernal Gordon to present and discuss The Inspection, the Closing Night selection of this year’s festival, with NYFF Executive Director Eugene Hernandez.

Known for his affecting and dynamic documentary Pier Kids, about homeless queer and transgender youth in New York, and the Viceland series My House, on underground competitive ballroom dancing, filmmaker and photographer Elegance Bratton has made his ambitious narrative debut with The Inspection, a knockout drama based on his own experiences as a gay man in Marine Corps basic training following a decade of living on the streets. In a breathtaking first cinematic starring role, Tony– and Emmy–nominated actor Jeremy Pope is run through an emotional and physical gauntlet as a young man dealing with the intimidation of a sadistic sergeant (Bokeem Woodbine), his desire for a sympathetic superior (Raúl Castillo), and his complicated feelings toward the mother who rejected him (a revelatory Gabrielle Union). Bratton’s film is a nuanced portrait of American masculinity and evocation of the military during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era, as well as a forceful, electric work of autobiography. An A24 release.

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