North Starr

Director: Matthew Stanton
Screenwriters: Matthew Stanton

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


In his beautifully crafted directorial debut, Matthew Stanton offers a marvelously original tale of an aspiring rap artist who comes to appreciate the value of going into another man’s land and “preaching to the unconverted.”

After witnessing the brutal murder of his best friend, Demetrious impulsively hops into a cab to escape the thug life of the inner-city Houston concrete for serene rural pastures. His cash takes him only as far as the outskirts of Trublin, a tiny backward town with skeletons in its closet. As he walks the streets of the town, Demetrious's presence draws the ire of the redneck citizens. But he is soon picked up by Darring, an unlikely kindred spirit who takes Demetrious under his wing. The two men find the strength in each other to rouse old demons that haunt the town and confront them in bold and unexpected ways.

North Starr is a poignant and heartfelt urban redemption story about healing wounds born of racism and the kind of trust that binds people together. There is a rare poetic and quietly tender quality to Stanton’s filmmaking that is mesmerizing to watch. It inspires the palpable exhilaration you feel when discovering a truly fresh directorial vision and voice.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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