JANUARY 16, 2018 -- Writer director Qasim Basir's latest release "Destined" returns to Michigan to take another interesting look into the African-American neighborhood. His last film "Mooz-lum" moved around Ann Arbor, this time he goes to Detroit with a surreal look at alternative universes.


The duel role subject is played by Cory Hardrict as Sheed and Rasheed. As a child he gets involved with selling drugs, but after a stint in Junvenile jail he gets two parallel lives. Sheed the hardened criminal drug dealer and Rasheed the educated architect.

Both characters interact with the same group of neighborhood characters - some whose lives also went in different directions; some whose lives are the same in both universes. His mother (played by Paula Devicq) and his lady friend Maya (Margot Bingham) remain pretty much the same.


As Sheed, he is in an all out war with another local drug dealer as well as having a contentious relationship with his right hand man Cal (Robert Christopher Riley). He is conflicted with mantaining his crime empire and getting out and going straight to gain the respect of Maya.


As Rasheed, he is trying to get a local community center a major rehab as well as improving the rundown, but affordable housing in his old neighborhood. He becomes conflicted when he learns that his white employer might have other plans for the neighborhood by gentrifying it.


Slightly above-average performance by Hardrict in the duel role though there should have been a more definitive separation of personalities, especially with the Sheed half...he needed to be a lot harder than he was.


Basir keeps the story moving with quick but delicate shifts from one timeline to another. Once again, he is unafraid to dramatize black perceptions of themselves inside the black community.


"Destined" is a better than average examination of decisions made early on that forever change the path a person takes.   [VOD] -- GRADE C --   GEOFF BURTON