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Why A24’s ‘The Inspection’ is Your Next Great Watch

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

After being produce by a majority all-black cast, it’s safe to see that we are continuing to tell our own stories. Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection, the just what you need for a closer look at how far mind of matter can go.

The film follows a young, gay, Black man by the name of Ellis French (played by Jeremy Pope) who decided to enlist in the Marine Corps in hopes of creating a better life for himself after being homeless for numerous year. After making this decision, he is soon faced with the realities of existing as a queer man during the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era from the 1990s. This era allowed for those who identified as another sexual orientation that may not be heterosexual to be be protected against harassment or discrimination while serving the country. Though this was done in good faith, it did not stop homophobia or underlying mistreatment of those within the community. The movie touches on the intersectionality of queer identity and the the internal struggles of acceptance of self along with others.

I had the honor of being part of an HBCU Roundtable with renowned actress, Gabrielle Union, who stars in the movie as “Inez French”, the main character’s disapproving mother who works as a prison guard. This experience afforded me the opportunity to have better insight into Union’s role in the production and her perspective on playing a character that had layers that a viewer may not notice right off. Union’s character is one that many viewers can relate to when it comes to the misunderstanding of some parenting methods.

“quote from roundtable here”

Union also shared her hope for the movie to serve as a reminder that the Black community can do “it”. “It” being the concept of sharing diverse stories from unique perspectives, but especially firsthand experiences that allow for these stories to be unaltered. She also shared her experience in having a friend who identified as gay that she didn’t initially know identified in that way and later learned that her friend didn’t feel that she was approachable at the time. This help to self-evaluate and truly take note of how she is making those around her feel. The transparency from Elegance Bratton as an admirable one to be able to encompass his own experience within the U.S. Marines and manage to still come out victorious into the creative we see today. By this being based on true life events, this left a lot of room for emotion in between taping scenes and for vulnerability to have a place on the set.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bratton shared more about the depth of details within the movie and trying to “This is about a young man who’s going to do anything to get his mother’s love back, even go to the most hostile environment. In the process, he learns how to respect himself.”

Bratton strongly convinced Union to play his mother in hopes of her being motivated to get back in touch with him after being estranged for over 20 years. Sadly, his mother passed away just a few days after the received clearance to begin production. Receiving acceptance

Being able to have the experience of seeing this movie in its glory and be able to look at things from a new perspective is something that I would encourage everyone to go after. Sometimes someone else’s reality isn’t believable until it is depicted in a way that is receivable by a mass audience. The Inspection has the potential to inspire many to also share their unique experiences and be unapologetic about it.

Sherdell Baker

Hampton U '23

Sherdell Baker is an emerging trailblazer in the media industry. Along with her being President (Campus Correspondent) for Her Campus Hampton U, she also writes for her own lifestyle & advice blog and ESSENCE Girls United. Sherdell works to one day be the Editor-in-Chief of a major magazine publication or create her own magazine company and continue to share important stories after she graduates from Hampton University.