With Where Children Play, Leila Djansi (Ties That Bind, Sinking Sands, And Then There Was You) pens and directs a poetic justice filled with emotional roller coasters, spiritual light houses and reflective time capsules.
This film is not your typical family drama; it is a woman’s plight towards a freedom she feels doesn’t exist and a bondage she can’t seem to escape.
Bellissima aka Bell (Teyonah Parris) has to face the unexpected death of her mother, but that tragic obstacle in no way compares to the request she’s received from her Aunt Helen (Macy Gray) regarding her father. David (Leon) is critically ill and needs her care; however, this is not a bout she’s ready to face, considering he is tied to every negative seed that has ever been planted in the soil of her existence. David seems humble and a changed man, but how he currently seems and who he definitely was presents an unknown equation that only Bell can manage to solve.
This film shows a true friendship between Bell and Nia (Osas Ighodaro Ajibade), and how a real bestie won’t judge your hardships and will always have a funny line to bring a smile to your face. Bell’s childhood friend, Jeremy (Brian White), is there for her as she strives to overcome her past hurts while also being a constant reminder of her strength.
Although managing the death of Bell’s mother is what has forced her to face her emotional demons and assisted her in becoming unemployed and homeless, these misfortunes have caused her to evolve into a woman of strength and courage. With these attributes, Bell confronts her past which leads her to create her own future. Witnessing this journey is where great filmmaking meets the intrigued film lover.