Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man comes home to find some of the demons of his past waiting for him in this independent drama from writer and director Tanya Hamilton. Marcus (Anthony Mackie) was born and raised in Philadelphia, but hasn't been there for years when he comes back in 1976 to attend the funeral of his father, a local minister. Marcus came of age during the late '60s and was a member of the Black Panther Party when revolution and black power were hot topics in Philly's African-American community. After a key figure in the local Black Panther organization was assassinated, many suspected someone inside the group had informed on them to the police, and more than a few were certain Marcus was the rat as he walked out on the Panthers and left town shortly after the murder. As Marcus visits his old neighborhood, he has to deal with strained relationships in his family and the distrust of old friends convinced he betrayed a close friend; he also spends some time with Patricia (Kerry Washington), a fellow activist he used to love who was also married to the man Marcus is said to have betrayed. As Marcus wrestles with the shadows of another era, he's shadowed by Jimmy (Amari Cheatom), Patricia's disturbed and homeless cousin who still believes in the Panthers' cause. Featuring an original score by the Roots, Night Catches Us received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.