How long does it take a criminal to revert back to old ways? Following Garrett Tully (Joe Anderson), Supremacy picks up right when he’s released from prison after serving 15 years for armed robbery. Part of the white supremacist gang the Aryan Brotherhood, he gets picked up by one of their groupies, Doreen, a coke-head trying to get her son back and get in good with the gang.
The film wastes no time and immediately jumps to the murder that sets of a chain reaction leading to Tully and Doreen keeping an entire black family hostage in their small town. It’s jarring and doesn’t make any sense at first, but it is fitting given the mentality of these two leads. Slowly we start to learn the events of Tully’s first and only day of freedom, the events that lead him in to that house with this family. These scenes are intercut with the scenes in the house, weaving these moments together to show the suddenly shifting dynamics of their thrust-upon partnership.
Danny Glover puts in a solid performance as the hardened ex-con doing anything to protect his family, but I was most impressed with the young actress playing Cassie. While she wasn’t given much to do beyond sheer terror and maternal instincts, she does it well and pulls you in. Her conviction to protect her two children is palpable. It’s a common bond she shares with Doreen that I wish had been explored more in the film.
One of the most affecting scenes is Doreen making sandwiches with the young Jamar. I can understand why they chose this scene to be highlighted most prominently in the trailer (see below). His youthful innocence is played up and the shocking escalation of the scene is one that stuck with me long after the credits rolled. I won’t give away the details, but you’ll be holding your breath awaiting the outcome.
Supremacy premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 12. If it makes it to a theater near you, I recommend you check it out.