Video Review: Childish Gambino “This Is America”

Inside an empty warehouse, a guitar is placed on a plastic chair. A fortysomething man sits down and play. A shirtless Childish Gambino stands with his back turned towards the man a few feet away. Gambino glances over his shoulder   and begins to dance to the man. The man sits wearing a hood. Gambino shoots him. A teenage boy runs to him and he hands over the gun to him.

Gambino continues to dance while first responders assess the man’s conditions. A thirtysomething man calls for help. A car passes by and doesn’t stop. Two more people run to the murdered man. School children join Gambino as he dances. He looks back at them while he continues to move. People dance on top of the cars.

A church choir sings in a gym. Gambino opens the door and dances. He pauses for a moment. Someone hands him a rifle and he kills the church choir. A police car arrives at the scene while people run. The school children join him again. He stands in center and makes a finger gun. He lights up a joint and walks away.

Gambino climbs on top of a car while another man plays guitar while wearing a hood. SZA looks over her shoulder as she sits on the hood of a car.

Gambino breathes hard, his eyes wide as he runs down a dimly lit hallway. Some people follow behind him.

Rating: 5/5

A fortysomething man, though, believes it won’t happen to him. He lives in the Midwest. In the open street, he plays his guitar. A gun man opens fire as he heads to the restaurant. Nineteen people are killed while they eat dinner with their families or friends.

On social media, people express their sympathies and call for action. Survivors of previous mass shootings reach out. Congressmen tweet thoughts and prayers to the victims. The President of United States ignores the tragedy and tweets a book review instead.

Two days later, another mass shooting occurs at a church. It receives a small amount of coverage in the media. Congressmen pass laws to allow open carry in several states. #2A trends on Twitter. A major newspaper runs a human interest about a man and his gun.

Outside, a group of high school students watch  the latest dance trend on their phones and try to learn it while they wait for a teacher to open the bolted doors. The African-American student gets the side-eye from the teacher as he waits.

A week later, people run their lives inside a parking structure as man fires inside a mall.

Director: Hiro Murai Year: 2018

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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