Film director C.T. Robert delivers sheer cinematic gold in his latest short film, “Few Good Things.” Collaborating with independent rapper, Saba, Robert uses songs from the album to tell the rapper’s story of growing up on the west side of Chicago. The film illustrates the Black familial structure juxtaposed to Black Chicago migration. The heart-rending film resembles Chicago native, Kanye West’s, MBDTF. Like Kanye, he pairs album tracks with scenes that express the specific lyrical content of the song.
The film sets the audience up for a divine visual composition as Saba travels through time to his childhood in Chicago. The opening scene demonstrates a crack in the pavement on a street in Chicago.
Saba, Culture, and Chicago
Indeed, the artist portrays simplicity—the realization that life’s pleasures aren’t monetary. Life pleasures often extend from our upbringings, our family, and those we hold dear. An important takeaway is the family dinner scene— symbolic of Black culture. The dinner table is where Black families join to fellowship, to share love with benevolent meals that are healing.
The film offers education of the Black plight of migrants at the turn of the century during Jim Crow. Blacks were promised jobs in Chicago, where they wouldn’t have had opportunities to do so in the south. However, upon arriving, only penny-paying wage jobs were open for migrating African Americans. As Saba speaks with his elder over the phone about his recollection of migration to Chicago, the story unfolds.
Throughout the film, we experience love, pain, solace and healing. We see Saba come into his own—the closing scene gifts us with green sprouting from that very crack in the pavement from the opening scene.
Two thumbs up.