Movie review: Lackawanna Blues

Saw a musical poem of a movie the other night. E. Epatha Merkerson—the police sergeant on the long-running, amazing-how-many-times-I-can-continue-to-enjoy-this-rerun Law & Order television series—plays Rachel “Nanny Crosby, a dynamic, loving presence in her 1950s-60s Lackawanna, NY neighborhood. She takes adult strangers—slightly crazy, homeless, lost—and kids into her warm and  cozy home. They have parties, drink beer, eat her home cookin’ and pay her some small rent if they can.

As segregation begins to lose its grip on the country, everyone passing through her home has a story to tell. Interwoven with the fine music are the portraits of the individual men and women who make up the fabric of her special world. Watching is like reading a poem.


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