'See You Yesterday': Release date, cast, plot, trailer and everything you need to know about Spike Lee's time-travel drama
The film follows a simple pattern of time-traveling but is heavily loaded with contemporary issues such as racism and discrimination
Several movies have shown us how time-traveling can be used to fulfill desires such as seeking revenge, mending sickness, redeeming one's self, and sometimes as an act to find closure of the past. However, Spike Lee's new Netflix movie, 'See You Yesterday' utilizes the prospect of time-traveling to fix things. Recalling a lot of the 2018 movie, 'Mirage', a Spanish film which sees its central character travel back in time to fix things, Lee's film also seeks a similar form of redemption through abstract revenge against time.
With the movie is set to arrive in May, here's everything you need to know about Lee's latest sci-fi:
'See You Yesterday' will premiere May 3 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and will drop on the streaming service May 17.
The story unfolds when protagonists C.J. and Sebastian try to put their most innovative invention to practical use. The time-traveling backpack that the two have been working on is something scientists of every generation have strived to create. However, when an unexpected murder takes place, the two immediately take it upon themselves to fix the mistake time and fate have committed. Relying heavily on a communal crisis and picking up strong socio-political issues such as Black Lives Matter, the story revolves around a sister's quest to bring back her brother from the dead.
Eden Duncan Smith is the most fitting face for the troubled sister, C.J. who uses her time-traveling backpack to prevent her brother's death. In real life, Smith is no different from her character. A Brooklyn native, activist and actor who believes in universal equality, she uses all forms of art to articulate the belief and inspire others to take the same stance. Smith will be joined by Dante Crichlow who will play the role of a relatively calm genius, Sebastian. The two newcomers will also be joined by Marsha Stephanie Blake who is pretty well known for her character Berdie Rogers on 'Orange is the New Black'.
The other cast members include Brian “Stro” Bradley, Johnathan Nieves, Wavyy Jonez, Myra Lucretia Taylor, and Ron Bobb Semple.
It is quite the combination of master and pupil since director Stefon Bristol was inspired by Lee's 'Do the Right Thing', at an early age of 18. Things took a haywire turn after that since Bristol would not be able to intern with Lee even after asking him personally, at least three times at three different events. Finally, Lee not only took Bristol under his wings, but as the director mentioned, "I knew I had to make the most of what was an amazing opportunity, so I asked Spike if he would write me a recommendation letter for NYU Graduate Film School – which he kindly did." Eight years have passed, and now Lee is practically producing a film which his pupil is directing. 'See You Yesterday' was adapted from Bristol’s 2017 short film of the same name, which won the HBO Short Film Competition.
Lee finally received his first Oscar this year for 'BlacKkKlansman' which he directed. Keeping up the with the spirit of the award ceremony, he delivered one of the most iconic speeches of all time, where he said, "Before the world tonight, I give praise to my ancestors who built our country, along with the genocide of our native people. We all connect with ancestors, to regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment." It seems 'See You Yesterday' will follow a similar undertone as the pivotal moment of the plot is the murder of a young, black teenager, at the hands of a white discriminating cop.
The trailer opens with the two genius protagonists C.J. and Sebastian discussing their invention, as Sebastian eagerly exclaims, "This is something Einstein spent his entire life trying to do." However, what remains constant throughout the trailer are the characters' urge to break through traditions they have been suppressed by.
Where to watch
After premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film will release on Netflix.
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As mentioned earlier, time-traveling is often used as a catalyst to initiate actions which often lead to destruction, redemption, and sometimes just a cleaning up process of past filth. 'See You Yesterday' is a lot about fixing what went wrong in the past, you might want to check out the Netflix movie 'Mirage' which follows the protagonist on a time-traveling spree as she tries to prevent a murder. 'See You Yesterday' can also be perceived as a revenge tragedy and the Ethan Hawke-starring movie, 'Predestination', should be on your list for its subtle play with time and the consequent memories which unfold themselves with every passing hour.
'The Butterfly Effect' (just the first part, ignore the other two) might even be a good choice to brush up on what time does when you try to take control of things. Certainly, it is also a good time to revisit some classics in this genre such as 'Groundhog Day' and 'Back to the Future' (all parts).