Watch Aunjanue Ellis, Michael Morris Jr. in ‘The Tested’ Trailer

Posted on July 19, 2011 /Film

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The Tested, a gritty film by director Russell Costanzo, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at the 2011 American Black Film Festival (ABFF). We take a look at the award-winning drama starring Aunjanue Ellis, Michael Morris Jr, Nathan Corbett, and Tobias Truvillion.

The Tested

Shoebox Pictures

A life shattering tragedy sends three people on vastly different paths to a similar goal of redemption and understanding.

One year ago, plain clothes cop, JULIAN VARONE gunned down an unarmed teen. DARRAYLYNN WARREN (Aunjanue Ellis), the teen’s mother, has spiraled into a pit of despair, while his brother, DRE (Michael Morris Jr.), flirts with ganglife. As Julian prepares to get back to work, the three realize they cannot find closure without the other.

Along with those themes the film explores loss, revenge, and injustice. And the complex relationship between a mother and son who are dealing with the death of a family member. Being a 16 year old male and having to deal with his thirtysomething mother is already difficult, they just don’t seem to speak the same language. But because of the death in their family a constant push-pull struggle ensues. He feels the need to grow up and become a man, while her needs are bit more complex – she wants him to step up as the head of the household and yet is still very protective of him. The fact that she is still grieving makes it nearly impossible for this relationship to fully blossom. After a mother already loses one of her sons, how can the remaining son carry all the responsibilities of the family? But there’s another side to all of this as well. How can the cop live with shooting an innocent kid? How do they all move past the tragedy and find their way through?

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