The winner of the directing prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year, The Forty-Year-Old Version, from producer Lena Waithe, is a tour de force for its writer, director, and star, Radha Blank. In her deeply personal debut film shot in black-and-white 35mm film, Blank stars as Radha, a flailing New York playwright approaching 40, who decides for her second act that she’ll reinvent herself as the rapper RadhaMUSPrime.
As Radha (the character), who was once named one of 30 Under 30 playwrights to watch, explores the world of hip-hop while still keeping a foot in the theater world, she begins to encounter a new, authentic version of herself.
In the scene below, Radha’s gay best friend, Archie, played by Peter Kim, chides her a bit for choosing a tougher path than may be necessary when she questions a modicum of success she’s enjoying. He likes "silken robes," he says.
The film, out now on Netflix, costars Oswin Benjamin, Imani Lewis, Haskiri Velazquez, Antonio Ortiz, TJ Atoms, Jacob Ming Trent, Stacey Sargeant, William Oliver Watkins, Meghan O’Neill, André Ward, Welker White, and Reed Birney.
Watch the clip below.