While many African American films embrace bourgeois materialism as an inherent sign of success, DeMane Davis and Khari Streeter string it up for target practice in this stylish and highly original drama about professional shoplifting. Lift raises a magnifying glass to a dysfunctional Bostonian black family and shows how treacherous it can be to turn to Versace, Marc Jacobs, and DKNY to heal old family wounds.

Niecy is a saleswoman for a large department store. She is also the best "booster" in town and can waltz surreptitiously out of any clothing store with whatever top-line item her black-market customers desire. Her high-rolling activities put her at the center of her social circle, but she fails to find devotion from her toughest customer—her mother Elaine. A survivor of an abusive childhood, Elaine attempts to feed her damaged, embittered heart with an endless stream of material finery. She turns to her daughter to feed her cravings and Niecy, desperate to soothe her wounds and gain her love, willingly takes on higher and higher stakes in pursuit of the best that money can buy.

DeMane Davis and Khari Streeter return to the Sundance Film Festival with a real treat—a crime caper that is as slick and beautiful as it is smart (their first film, Black & White & Red All Over played in the 1997 Film Festival). With a sizzling soundtrack and strong performances by a gorgeous cast, Lift is a super-fresh take on black crime and a parable for the wise.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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