Running Time 19:02
Behind The Scenes 8:40
At 18, Eliyah Howard thinks he knows what it means to be a real man. He learned nearly everything from his abusive father. But family, love, and tragedy test the lessons he inherited. Is it too late for Eliyah to re-define what a man really is? This film was written by Angileece Williams from Cleveland, Ohio and directed by Malcolm D. Lee.
Life’s Poison was written by Angileece Williams from Cleveland, Ohio at Saint Martin De Porres High School. The film was directed by Malcolm D. Lee, shot by Noel Maitland and produced by Debbie Stratis.
- Screened at the 2013 Women of African Descent Film Festival
- Airing on Showtime – click here for listing
- Screened at the 2011 New York City International Film Festival
- 2009-2010 National East Contest Winner, Cleveland Ohio
- Screened at the 2011 Cleveland International Film Festival
The Story Behind the Story
Angileece Williams wrote the story for Life’s Poisonfor a writing assignment as a sophomore from Saint Martin De Porres High School. The assignment was given to the class by their Theology teacher Ann Klonowski.
You may have noticed the cross on the main actor’s neck in Angileece’s film. To you it may not have made a difference, but for her, there is a story behind it:
“On the first day of filming, Malcolm had asked me if the lead actor could wear a fairly large cross around his neck. The decision was completely up to me, but I chose to be indifferent. Here I was on the very first day of shooting a script that I had rewritten countless times and put my hard work and dedication into, and I was reverting back to my old ways. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t care.”
Ricardo, the Scenarios USA Youth Coordinator, was standing next to me, and he said something that I will never forget. ‘Angileece,’ he said, ‘I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you have to learn to make a decision.’ I was speechless. His words shocked me, and though they stung in the moment, he said something I needed to hear.
I will keep close to my heart what I learned and experienced during those two beautiful days of filming. I learned the importance of letting my voice be heard. Even when I don’t think I have an opinion, I have to dig deeper and find out what I really think and want to express. Shrugging my shoulders and saying, ‘I don’t care,’ is no longer an option.”