Bree Newsome, the activist who scaled a flagpole outside the South Carolina Statehouse and took down the Confederate flag there in a protest against racism, is not just a national hero but a filmmaker. As it turns out, she's a very competent director.
Newsome's 2010 short horror film Wake, which is available to watch online, is a Southern Gothic tale of a woman raised in an oppressive household who finds herself free to pursue a husband after her father perishes "in his sleep." But when she attempts to conjure herself the perfect man using a form of magic called "root-work," she finds that the price of her newly found power is terrible indeed.
According to the creator, Wake won Best Short Film at the Hayti Heritage Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, in 2010, as well as numerous awards at other festivals such as the 2012 Black Reel Awards.
It's well worth watching, especially for its excellent script, unique take on traditional horror tropes and engrossing Southern setting. Particular props go to the subtle but convincing special effects, as well as the unearthly creepiness of the demonic presences that invade the protagonist's life.
Seasoned horror movie fans may see the ending coming, but there's more than enough tension to hold the film together as it hurtles toward its awful conclusion. It's also a great reminder that people like Newsome aren't just scaling flagpoles but challenging hegemony in other professional and cultural arenas, such as the unfortunately white-dominated horror film industry.
Watch the movie below: