Based on Bratton’s experience as a gay man in Marine Corps basic training after a decade living on the streets, the portrait of American masculinity and the military during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era stars Gabrielle Union and Tony and Emmy-nominated Jeremy Pope in his first lead film role.
Filmmaker and photographer Bratton previously lensed documentary Pier Kids, about homeless queer and transgender youth in New York, and the Viceland series My House, on underground competitive ballroom dancing. The Inspection, an A24 film, follows Pope’s Ellis French through an emotional and physical gauntlet in his intimidation by a sadistic sergeant (Bokeem Woodbine), his desire for a sympathetic superior (Raúl Castillo), and his complicated feelings toward a mother who rejected him (Union).
“I’m incredibly humbled that my debut feature film will close the New York Film Festival this year,” said Bratton. “So many of my favorite filmmakers have made an impact as a part of this illustrious program. I’m overwhelmed to be a part of it. And as a New Yorker, this is a dream come true.”
“Festival galas are often occasions to celebrate filmmakers we know and love, but for this year’s closing night, we wanted to introduce audiences to someone we think will be shaping the art form for years to come,” said Dennis Lim, NYFF artistic director. “With The Inspection, Elegance Bratton has made an autobiographical movie of rare power and confidence, a debut film for the ages.”
The festival runs from Sept. 30–Oct. 16.
James Gray’s Armageddon Time will be a main slate selection as well as a special 60th anniversary screening event celebrating the history of the festival.
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