Brother To Brother

A drama that looks back on the Harlem Renaissance from the perspective of an elderly, black writer who meets a black, gay teenager in a New York homeless shelter.
Year Released
Film Length(s)
90 mins
Closed captioning available Audio description available
Remote video URL


A feature length drama which follows the emotional and psychological journey of a young Black gay artist (Anthony Mackie-CAPTAIN AMERICA) as he discovers the hidden legacies of the gay and lesbian subcultures within the Harlem Renaissance.

Featured review

“A captivating drama….Tremendously accomplished filmmaking by writer/director Rodney Evans”
The Associated Press
David Germain
Critic, The Associated Press


A critically acclaimed, feature-length drama which invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance through the memories of Bruce Nugent, who co-founded the revolutionary literary journal Fire!! with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Wallace Thurman. As an elderly man, Nugent meets a young black gay artist struggling to find his voice and together they embark on a surreal narrative journey through his inspiring past.


"Brother to Brother is a graceful work of range and depth."
Kevin Thomas
Critic, Los Angeles Times
“Heartfelt. Filled with ideas and nice acting, especially from Mackie and Robinson”

Manohla Dargis
Critic, NY Times
“Breathtaking….a fascinating and absorbing tale."
Kirk Honeycutt
Critic, The Hollywood Reporter
“Excellent…a gifted cast brings to vibrant, sexy life the likes of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin and Eldridge Cleaver, and in the process conjures the neatest hat trick of all — making the loves and woes of the past resonate with those of the present”
Chuck Wilson
Critic, LA Weekly
“The story Evans tells of the spiritual link between a contemporary black gay New York artist and the trailblazers of the 1930’s Harlem Renaissance is an excitingly ambitious one, conveyed with guileless passion of purpose”

Owen Gleiberman
Critic, Entertainment Weekly
“BROTHER TO BROTHER brings depth and intelligence to black politics and sexuality”

David Rooney
Critic, Variety

Awards and Screenings

Sundance-Special Jury Prize-U.S. Dramatic Competition
Outfest-Los Angeles-Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award
Outfest-Los Angeles-Best Actor-Roger Robinson
Four Independent Spirit Award Nominations: Best Debut Performance (Anthony Mackie) Best First Film/Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor-Roger Robinson
Two Gotham Award Nominations-Breakthrough Actor (Anthony Mackie), Breakthrough Director (Rodney Evans)
Frameline-San Francisco int'l. LGBTQ+ Film Festival-Best Fiction Feature/Audience Award
Roxbury Film Festival-Best Feature/Audience Award
NewFest-New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival-Showtime Vanguard Award
Winner-HBO's Someone To Watch Award-Black Movie Awards
Seattle Queer Film Festival-Best New Director
Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival-Best Fiction Feature
Reel Affirmations: Washington DC Int'l. LGBTQ+ Film Festival-Audience Award-Best Feature

Director Commentary

Brother To Brother is the first feature-length narrative drama that deals with the rich cultural time period known as the Harlem Renaissance. It presents the lives and experiences of well known writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston who are read throughout the world and brings wider recognition to lesser known but equally important figures such as Bruce Nugent and Wallace Thurman. The film strives to make links between these historical figures and the lives of young, contemporary African-American artists as they begin to emerge and fulfill their full potential. While the film centers on African-American artists of the Harlem Renaissance and the present day, I believe the quest for a meaningful identity and an original and truthful artistic voice is a universal theme that resonates on a global level. The film strives to acknowledge the diversity and complexity within the African-American and gay and lesbian communities and to give voice to experiences that have been vastly underrepresented in cinema for far too long.

Features and Languages

Film Features

  • Audio Description
  • Closed Captioning

Film/Audio Languages

  • English

Subtitle/Caption Languages

  • English
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