Watch Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal's powerful spoken-word tribute to victims of police violence
Ever since Blindspotting made its premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal’s comedy-drama has been earning raves for its simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking look at gentrification and police brutality in Oakland. The two longtime friends co-wrote and star in the film, which follows an ex-convict named Collin (Diggs) who’s trying to stay out of trouble toward the end of his probation. But when he inadvertently witnesses a white police officer shooting and killing an unarmed black man, he finds himself forced to reckon with his rapidly changing city and his friendship with his white best friend Miles (Casal).
Diggs and Casal brought the film to Lionsgate’s CinemaCon presentation on Thursday, where they took the stage for an impromptu spoken-word poem that was part tribute to the unarmed people of color killed by police, part ode to the pair’s hometown, and part encapsulation of the film’s themes of gentrification and inequality.
“How perfect does a black boy have to be before we mourn him?” Diggs asked. “How quickly must a neighborhood vanish for us to notice?”
Carlos López Estrada directed Blindspotting, which will hit theaters July 20. Watch Diggs and Casal’s performance above.