In reflecting on the Netflix adaptation of American Son, I’m reminded of a line from A Few Good Men, “you can’t handle the truth.” I’m not being glib. This one is all about hard truths. And by maintaining the four-actor, stormy night, one-room structure of the Broadway play, the film focuses you on its honesty in a way that may be hard to take in. Or, worse, easy to dismiss. But try not to do that.
Playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and Tony Award® winning director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences) have created something worthwhile in American Son. In order to see what’s really happening on this particular stage, you’re only required to remember you’re watching a play—not a film. If you can do that you’ll find a work of art that is riveting in its own taut way. Continue reading.