Time travel comes to Brooklyn in See You Yesterday.
See You Yesterday, the sci-fi fantasy with around the way sensibilities is a brand new take on a timeless storytelling troupe that dates back to H.G. Wells.
Directed by Stefon Bristol, it tells the story of CJ and Sebastian, their time travel aspirations, and the repercussions that ensue when things go terribly wrong.
Recently, The Shadow League had the chance to speak with Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow and Astro, who star in the new Netflix movie.
Mild Spoiler Alert
See You Yesterday provides a current world perspective about how black lives and time travel could intertwine. I asked them what was it like working on the set of a sci-fi movie based in the hood.
Dante Crichlow: I felt like I was at home. I felt like I was in my element. I didn’t feel like I had to worry about anything onset. It just felt like a very familiar environment to be in, and I liked that. I liked being able to just sit in it and feel like I was watching my family, my people. I felt like I’m seeing everybody that I know, so.
Eden Duncan-Smith: I just think it enhanced what was already there. I know some many people who live in my hood, Bed-Stuy, who are amazing scientists, have amazing personalities, are very bold and very colorful.
The Shadow League: This movie just brings out all aspects of various black lifestyles. You rarely see any movies about Caribbean Americans. I think this movie shows a brighter side of all aspects of various black lifestyles of Brooklyn, of science and of life period.
Astro: It was very surreal for me. I’m from Flatbush, I’m from the 90s, we were like in the 50s. Deep Flatbush. But just to see the people outside, people on their porch across the street and watching us do this film that has the potential to be something really great for the culture. I felt like I was watching home onscreen when we were watching the film.
TSL: What was it like working on a science fiction project that also shows the lengths through which we would go save the ones we love in “black” terms?
Eden: One thing I like about the film is that shows police brutality in the ways that it could be. It shows that the police can just harass you for no reason when you’re trying to talk to your little sister on the street or they can just pull up on you because they think you’re somebody else or they can murder you in cold blood.
TSL: There are so many different things that black teenagers, black people have to deal with as far as police brutality on a second-by-second just constantly, moment-to-moment, always having to look out, always feeling like we have to protect ourselves. I think that movie just showed how black teens navigate around Brooklyn and how we avoid and confront these situations.
Astro: I deal with stuff like that in real life, the police just being annoying and harassing just because of the color of your skin or you fit a certain profile. I’m kinda numb to it. You see it on the screen and it feels good because it’s letting people know that about things that they might not be aware of.
TSL: Surprisingly in this world, not everybody knows or they act like they don’t know. When this film comes out, I think the sci-fi element combined with the police brutality element could spark a conversation and I think that’s just the way.
Dante: It’s all about coming of age for these two teenagers who are being scientists and students, but at the same time segue into police brutality makes it very accessible to all audiences members to have a conversation about this topic.
TSL: Talk about the dynamic in the film how CJ is the hotheaded one and Calvin and Sebastian are largely her emotional support system?
Dante: I feel like Calvin takes care of both of us, but when he’s not around, I take care of CJ. But it’s definitely a give and take.
Astro: I think CJ is definitely the heart of this movie and I think it’s my job as her brother to love her unconditionally. So as far as Sebastian, I’m like, you’re good with my sister then cool. Keep her off my back for a moment and do y’all time machine thing. I’m just big bro.
Eden: Also, the dynamic between Sebastian and CJ is very authentic. I’m a hot head. I get pretty angry, pretty quickly and he’s pretty much trying to make everyone smile all the time. Even at like photo shoots and stuff, if I get made he just makes me smile every time.
TSL: I think that really played into the film as well. The characters you play attend Bronx Science High School in the Bronx, a specialized public school in NYC. For many, the fact that this was mentioned is a small thing. However, for me, it’s big because it alludes to the inherent brilliance of many city kids.
Eden: I go to Hampton University and a lot of people across the country do not have the same educational opportunities at all. One thing I always notice is like a pattern with other students is that you couldn’t go to a good school unless you paid for it.
See You Yesterday premieres on Netflix on May 17.