Xavier Sr. works in demolition and dreams of buying a new house for his wife Esperance, who works as a seamstress. They are Haitian immigrants living in Miami, and deeply entwined with their local community, participating in street parades, communions, and games of dominoes. Their adult son Xavier Jr., on the other hand, is a college dropout who has had to move back home. While his parents speak Creole, Junior predominantly responds in English, reflecting his wish to fit into his chosen society. Even so, he mines his Haitian background for material for a nightly stand-up routine that he keeps secret.
Different generational experiences are sensitively portrayed in Monica Sorelle’s visually arresting feature debut, which paints a loving portrait of a community being slowly chipped away by gentrification. Xavier Sr. is acutely aware of what his job really means but is trapped by circumstance, whereas Junior struggles to find a place for himself in not one but two communities, all the while dealing with his father's mountain of expectations.––Casey Baron