Dark Angels, feature film, african american movies, black films, female superhero
Dark Angels, feature film, african american movies, black films, female superhero

Hollywood Premiere: May 2, 1996 - Directors Guild of America - The Executive Screening Room, Starring: Louis B. Murray and Je Nie Fleming, Writer, Producer, and Director: David Wadley, Cinematography: Edwin Myers, Editing: Kevin Lindstrom, Original Music: Damon Stout, Costume Design: Donna O'Neal, Casting: Barbara Clark

DARK ANGELS - Angela, portrayed by Je Nie Fleming (ACRIMONY, Law and Order), is a woman faced with the decision to have her baby or succumb to the wishes of her physically abusive husband, Demond, and get an abortion. For him, it's the fast track to money, power, drugs and sex, without any family responsibilities getting in his way. Divine intervention steps in as the mean streets of Atlanta become killing streets, where Angela and Demond find themselves on a downward spiral of self-destruction and hopelessness. But the will to survive is strong in Angela. She soon realizes that if she and her unborn child are to survive, she must find herself spiritually and then stand up to fight for what she believes in - no matter what the cost.

Throughout Angela's dream sequences, character names hint at the story's subtext which was influenced by the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Charlemagne, whose foreign conquests and internal reforms helped define Western Europe between 760-813, has been redeveloped as an African American funeral director, Charles Maine, portrayed by veteran Baltimore stage actor, Louis B. Murray (HOMICIDE, House of Cards). Maine operates a family-owned, funeral home in a modern day, inner city neighborhood. His able assistant and sidekick, Rodrigo Bivar, is played by one of Hollywood's top stunt coordinators, Roberto Gutierrez (THOR: THE DARK WORLD, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL), in his first screen role. Mr. Gutierrez is a martial artist extraordinaire whose character in the film is named after Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar - El Cid, the military general that altered the course of European military history between 1087-1099. The names of Angela and Demond (angel and demon), and other character's names such as Grace, Pope, Saxon, Lombard, Rahman, Tassilo and Dante add to the film's Crusades related theme.

In the opening of Angela's dream segments, Maine has had enough of the senseless drug related violence which has plagued his neighborhood for far too long. Angela's dreams culminate with the wrath of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, from the Book of Revelation, who provide an ominous climax during the film's final moments. Inside the world of DARK ANGELS, there are no decisive winners in a war waged between arrogant heroes and ambitious villains. The only real superhero is God.

DARK ANGELS was written, produced and directed by David L. Wadley. Shot entirely in Atlanta, Georgia on a limited budget, DARK ANGELS was completed over a five-year period, thanks to the perseverance of over 150 dedicated crew members and actors who worked for little or no salary. Numerous Atlanta business owners and managers donated their facilities for set locations, staging areas and post-production services. The stark reality of Atlanta's gritty streets is captured on 35mm black and white film, juxtaposed against the warmer scenes of Angela's dreams photographed on vibrant color stock by veteran cinematographer, Edwin Myers (ROBOCOP 3, INVASION U.S.A.). This is an effective storytelling technique inspired by the MGM classic THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939). Like THE WIZARD OF OZ; actors play dual roles in the real world (black and white) and dream world (color) segments of the film. The surreal setting of the film is augmented by the haunting classical orchestral soundtrack created by composer Damon Stout, who conducted a 65-piece orchestra for his original composition, "Theme from Dark Angels." The film also benifited from the editing talents of Kevin Lindstrom (WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, BOOMERANG, THE KARATE KID III, SISTER ACT), and the detailed artistry of costume designer, Donna O'Neal (LADY AND THE TRAMP, THOR: RAGNAROK, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III, 8 MILE, PLANET OF THE APES). DARK ANGELS was released worldwide in 1998.
"What David has done with DARK ANGELS is the most difficult path to take because he's done it all himself from scratch. Not only did he write the script and develop the characters, he's secured the financing, directed it...To do something like that and pull it off takes tremendous tenacity."
Preston Holmes, Producer - GIRLS TRIP, MALCOLM X, NEW JACK CITY, and JUICE
Dark Angels, feature film, african american movies, black films
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