Alfre Woodard
UMC

UMC Premieres Mental Illness Drama 'Knucklehead'

A favorite at film festivals last year, the film stars Alfre Woodard and The Wire's Gbenga Akinnagbe, who plays a young man battling a mental illness. 

The Urban Movie Channel is revisiting a festival favorite that touches on mental illness and how it affects the black family dynamic with the premiere of the Alfre Woodard drama, Knucklehead. 

Streaming today (Oct. 21), the film stars the legendary actress alongside The Wire alum Gbenga Akinnagbe. Langston (Akinnagbe) is a mentally challenged Brooklyn native on a mission to find meds to become "mentally excellent." Since the death of his brother Jullian ( Amari Cheatom, Django Unchained), Langston tries his best to battle his undiagnosed disorder by finding the prescription cocktail he reads about from an entertainment doctor. His brother's loss also weighs heavy on his mother (Woodard) who is abusive, yet caring in the polarizing role.

The journey teaches Langston about himself and emotional battles that plague the African-American community when dealing with mental illness. The film was given rave reviews in March 2015 when it premiered at the BAMcinématek series New Voices in Black Cinema. It was nominated for several awards at the 2015 American Black Film Festival.

RLJ Entertainment owns UMC. Founded by the creator of BET, Robert L. Johnson, the streaming services prides itself on airing the best content created by black and brown directors and producers. In addition to its original content,  the service airs stand up specials and films featuring Idris Elba, Jamie Foxx, Mo' Nique and countless others. For more films head to UMC's site, here.

Check out clips from the film, below.

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