After John’s absent father is struck by a stray bullet, Primo takes it upon himself to verse the young boy in the code of the streets—one founded on respect and upheld by fear. A member of the Bloods since the age of twelve—both in the film and in reality—the streets of Brooklyn are all Primo has ever known. While John questions whether or not to enter into this life, Primo must decide whether to leave it all behind as he vows to become a better husband and father. Set during those New York summer weeks where the stifling heat seems to encase everything, Five Star plunges into gang culture with searing intensity. Director Keith Miller observes the lives of these two men with a quiet yet pointed distance, carefully eschewing worn clichés through its unflinching focus. Distinctions between fiction and real life remain intentionally ambiguous, allowing the story of these two men to resonate beyond the streets, as they face the question of what it means to be a man. Director / writer Keith Miller (Welcome to Pine Hill) joins us for a conversation on his how a chance encounter became the inspiration for Five Star, the risks and the rewards of working with non-professional actors and their impact on Miller’s exceptional second feature film.
“Slow and steady, and with remarkable assuredness, Keith Miller’s “Five Star” plays mean-streets drama in the lowest of keys.” -Janette Catsoulis , The New York Times
“Like John Cassavetes directing an episode of ‘The Wire’…” -Eric Kohn, Indiewire
“…powerfully affecting urban drama that tells a familiar story […] with such unusual authenticity and dramatic force that it’s as if we’re seeing it for the first time…” -Scott Foundas, Variety
“…a compelling portrait, and a refreshing take on a setting and characters too often sensationalized.” – Shadow and Act
“…a dizzying tour-de-force…” – Village Voice