This is not a fun topic. And we’re tired of it, for sure. But police brutality stories keep on showing up in the news, sometimes “starring” Latinos. This movie is based on the real life story of Israel “Reefa” Hernandez Jr., an 18-year-old Colombian immigrant and promising artist who sprayed-painted a wall at an exorbitant personal price.
In REEFA, Israel is getting ready to move from Miami to New York on an art scholarship. He, along with his family, is also about to receive his green card. One fateful night, he decides to gain respect from his peers by spray painting a wall, which is followed by an encounter with an out-of-control Miami police officer. The result leaves his family and friends devastated, the Miami community outraged, and the country with one more sickening story of police brutality.
This is not the type of movie that you watch to escape reality, but it is a tool to let the world know about Reefa’s story and to heap additional coals of fire over the heads of the unscrupulous police. It’s a captivating story with a heartbreaking end.
Having said that, I must alert any bilingual Latino viewers that the accents in this movie are all over the place. It’s supposed to portray an immigrant Colombian family, yet only one actor sounds like it; the rest have Nuyorican or no accents altogether. In a movie with a topic that doesn’t need you to suspend reality, you still have to suspend it a bit on account of the inaccurate accents.
REEFA was written and directed by Jessica Kavana Dornbusch. The film has a running time of 96 minutes and is not rated. It was released on VOD / Digital Platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, On Demand, FandangoNow and all major cable/satellite platforms on April 16, 2021.