The 60th edition of the New York Film Festival closed Friday night with another New York film. It’s called “The Inspection.”
Writer-director Elegance Bratton is inspired by his own story as a gay man who found a home in the United States Marine Corps after his mother rejected him.
“When I joined the Marine Corps, I’d gone after 10 years of being homeless,” Bratton said. “And I thought I was completely worthless. And then my drill instructor told me that my value is determined by my ability to protect the person to my left and to my right. I want people to take that home with them.”
Bratton’s mother is played by Gabrielle Union. She didn’t think there was a role for her in the movie.
“I knew where I get in as a producer,” Union said. “But as talent, I was a little confused. And I actually had a list of names of actresses who I thought would be amazing as the mother and they were like, ‘No, you.’ And Elegance said, ‘It’s only you.’ And he had a confidence in me that I didn’t have in myself.”
Actor Jeremy Pope was proud to play the character based on the writer-director.
“I read the script and I fell in love with Elegance,” Pope said. “I fell in love with someone who was going to put himself on the front line for Black and for queer men. I wanted to protect him. I wanted to be the vessel to make sure that he is taken care of and supported and so I wanted to go on that journey with him.”