Starring: Allen Payne, Angelle Brooks, Andrew Divoff and Clarence Williams III
Rated: R Crime/Drama
Spanning the 1980s and 1990s in the Roxbury section of Boston, Massachusetts, Blue Hill Avenue is centered upon the close friendship of four: Tristan (Allen Payne), E-Bone (William L. Johnson), Money (Aaron D. Spears) and Simon (Michael Taliferro). Coming from various backgrounds, the young, African-American boys are loyal to each other.
They are led by Tristan, who often serves as the logical, not necessarily moral, compass of the group. Reared in a middle-class, two-parent home, Tristan has a cool temperament and is very intelligent. All these appear to be key to his position in the group. The other three have different challenges, ranging from absent parents to poverty. Rounding out the friends is Martine (Angelle Brooks), Tristan’s first love.
When the “opportunity” to sell drugs for local kingpin, Benny (Clarence Williams III), arises, the boys take it. As the years pass, the four friends rise in success but with that success, comes major issues that threaten their tight bond of brotherhood. Before long, they each will have to examine what is most important to them and what are they willing to do in order to survive this deadly game.
Viewers will want to see if friendship can stand the tests of time and all it entails!
Released in 2001, the independent Blue Hill Avenue was written and directed by Craig Ross, Jr. The film has since gained a cult following, especially by those who are fans of Clarence Williams III and Allen Payne. At that time, Williams III had been introduced to new audiences after having starred in Sugar Hill (1993) and Tales From the Hood (1995) while Payne had been celebrated since his lead role in New Jack City (1991).
This urban film, praised for its grittiness and atypical plot development, received several nominations for awards, including “Best Independent Film (Theatrical)” at the 2002 Black Reel Awards.
Blue Hill Avenue won “Best U.S. Film” at the 2001 Acapulco Black Film Festival and Craig Ross, Jr. won “Best Director” at the 2001 Urbanworld Film Festival. Allen Payne won “Best Independent Actor” at the 2002 Black Reel Awards.