Know Your Place
Directed by: Zia Mohajerjasbi
USA, 2022, 125m
In English and Tigrinya with English subtitles
East Coast Premiere
Robel, a 15-year-old Eritrean American, and his best friend, Fahmi, a 15-year-old Ethiopian American, embark on a journey across the neighborhoods of Seattle to drop off a suitcase with medicine and cash to a family friend travelling back to Eritrea due to a family member’s sudden illness. Quiet and contemplative, the film plunges us into the unique world of these two friends and the ever-growing gentrification around them. With a dash of Barry Jenkins and shades of Joe Swanberg indie sensibilities, this coming-of-age odyssey is an intimately elegiac portrait of a disappearing community. Along the way these young men attempt to navigate obstacles, ranging from self-inflicted ones, such as leaving a cell phone on a city bus, to the unavoidable casual and not-so-casual racism that almost derails their entire mission. Grounded by two breakout performances from Joseph Smith and Natnael Mebrahtu, elevated with gorgeous cinematography, and steered by the sure-handed direction of Zia Mohajerjasbi, Know Your Place offers a glimpse into South Seattle and some residents that rarely get represented on screen. It breathes fresh life into familiar observations on the universal themes of overlooked immigrant communities in the United States.