Armageddon Time

Autobiographical film by James Gray (Ad Astra) about a 12-year-old Jewish boy who becomes aware that his black best friend is held back by racism and other social forces.

Time & Tickets

Queens, New York. The 1980s. 12-year-old Paul Graff is growing up in a warm and rowdy family that includes his grandfather, who encourages his artistic aspirations. His best friend is John Crocker, an African American boy. The two are inseparable and prone to mischief, but after an incident in which John and Paul share ‘tea that makes you laugh’ (marijuana), Paul’s parents decide to transfer him to the private prep school his older brother Ted attends. Here, the student body is almost exclusively white, privileged – and prejudiced (it’s also Donald Trump’s alma mater). Together, the boys concoct a risky scheme to escape their lives and run away to Florida.

James Gray (THE IMMIGRANT, THE YARDS) has managed to turn his own experiences with racism into a personal drama that doesn’t feel moralising. Gray does not pretend to know how to solve social inequality, but his film shows how we all contribute to this societal problem.

James Gray, USA, 2022, 115 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Banks Repeta, Jaylin Webb, Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Sell.