In black-and-white, a skyline of a city can be seen through a high-rise apartment. Toni Braxton waves her arms as she flies among falling diamonds. Waves dampen the sand next to the crooked trees.
While Braxton sings on stage, lightning strikes on the screen behind her. A shirtless man looks down and next, he wears a suit. Two stacks of rings move to each corner of the screen. The man decides if he’s going to answer Braxton’s call. He smokes a cigar. A ring drops. He lights another cigar.
The skyline moves as she sings on stage. Wearing a fur coat, her face is superimposed over the buildings. Water from two sides meets and splashes. A glass blends together.
In a baby blue sky, she continues to fly among the diamonds.
In black-and-white, a young man plays the cello. Stacks of wood burn behind her. Dice split apart. The young man plays the cello next to her. On the screen, the man swivels his drink. He takes a drink and puts his hands on the table. The screen changes to the beach. Braxton leans the microphone to the right as smoke fills the screen. The man adjusts his tie. With his jacket over his shoulder, he glances back at her.
In color, as the diamonds fall, she turns around.
Toni Braxton and her boyfriend spent weekends attending fundraisers and posing for pictures for the local magazines. After their breakup, he is still the powerful businessman who is invited to charity events. Meanwhile, her presence has been minimized to the point of invisibility.
As she floats among diamonds, she regains some sense of self. She is an independent woman who made her fortune designing rings. He was one of her first investors. However, being ignored by people who once viewed her as one of their own stings. But they don’t know how he would put her down. After he drank, it became worse.
The black-and-white distills any hope for her. She has her eye on a high-rise apartment but is waiting to hear from the landlord. Nonetheless, her now ex-boyfriend controls everything for her. One false word and her business is bankrupt. Building her life is going to take time and whatever she decides, it will be in the shadow of her ex-boyfriend.
Director: Billie Woodruff Year: 2017
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