The kNew-Born - BeThePhenom

Reviewed By Barbara Dooley

Fringe Reviewer

If this year’s Fringe Festival had a “Best of Show,” “The kNew-Born” from BeThePhenom of Braymer, MO would be among the top contenders.

Without pity and with a clear gaze, poet t.l. sanders brings a deep and compassionate vision to the human cost of problems most of us only read about in the news: the incarceration of Black men; the costs of addiction; the heartbreak of children growing up without fathers.

This 51-minute film alternates scenes of the life and challenges of an often-incarcerated, addicted father committed to trying to change, and his successful adult son. sanders is a compelling actor and his spoken word pieces are powerful. The ending is moving, tinged with regret and hope.

sanders who, wrote, directed and stars in this engrossing film, deftly walks the line between teaching and preaching. He lets his characters speak for themselves and they do that very, very well.

The original score by Tavieus “Cujo” Phillips and Jerad Tomasino contributes to the emotional mood, as does music by other contemporary artists.

Local KC artists Dennis Day (camera and editing) and Stephanie Roberts (acting coach) contributed to this production.

Highest recommendation.