Keith, a “woke” Lausd schoolteacher, takes it upon himself to visit the strange South LA home of his absentee student, Lamont. On the way to the home he is intercepted by an intrepid popsicle salesman. Moving past the man to the front door, he runs into Lamont’s older brother, Tyree, an intimidating tattooed figure. Tyree directs Keith to MS. Webb, the eccentric elderly matriarch of the house. The two exchange pleasantries, as Keith sips her sweet tea and tries to probe the elderly woman for the reason of Lamont’s absence. When Grannie extolls the virtues of homeschooling over traditional school, she infuriates Keith and he threatens to call Social Services to take Lamont. Ketih starts to feel weird, suspecting the Sweet Tea and attempts to make an abrupt exit – but is intercepted by the Paletero Man, who with Tyree accost and subdue Keith.
The two men bring the flailing Keith back to Grandma’s table, which has been transformed into a tribal altar, as Grandma, Tyree, and the Paletero begin a primal ritual. A strange, small figure appears with a ceremonial knife: Keith realizes that it is Lamont, wearing a tribal mask fashioned in Keith’s likeness. Keith realizes that the end may be near, and attempts to atone for his sins, including the sins of all white people as the oppressors of the world’s people of color. The protests are in vain however, as Lamont raises the knife to welcome his “little brother”…. But as the knife’s blade falls …
…Keith jolts awake, on a chair in the living room, to see that Grandma, Tyree, Paletero Man and Lamont have returned to their normal appearances. Grandma explains that Keith drank from the wrong pitcher of sweet tea, and accidentally consumed some of grandma’s medicine, due to an honest mistake on Tyree’s part. She promises Keith that Lamont will be in school on Monday, and as Tyree walks Keith to the door, the older brother gives Keith some friendly words of wisdom: “Lamont ain’t yo little brother, he’s mine.”
As a shaken Keith exits the home, processing what has just transpired, we spot the hilt of the ceremonial knife in the back of Tyree’s pants… and we’re not sure what was real or imagined.
Directed by Dikega Hadnot (USA)