‘Brotherly Love,’ directed by Jamal Hill, is a basketball-themed drama film that peels back the curtain to uncover the challenges and dreams of those who live in impoverished regions. The plot revolves around Sergio Taylor (Eric D. Hill Jr.), a remarkable high school basketball prodigy obsessed with becoming an NBA player.
His passion for the sport is unshakeable, but the road to success is not easy. In the background, his older brother, June (Cory Hardrict), bears the burden of parental responsibilities following their parents’ sad deaths. June’s goals are put on hold while he works tirelessly to provide for their family.
Finally, their family princess, Jackie (Keke Palmer), has high hopes of becoming a singer but is disrupted when she falls in love for the first time. Marcus, the neighborhood drug dealer, looms over Sergio’s ambitions like a storm cloud in the midst of these interactions.
If the film’s realistic themes of love, devotion, and persistence to pursue one’s dreams despite numerous obstacles make you wonder if it is grounded in truth, here’s everything you need to know about it!
Is Brotherly Love Based On A True Story?
No, ‘Brotherly Love’ is not based on a true story. Jamal Hill, the director and screenwriter extraordinaire, created the film.
Brotherly Love, directed and written by Jamal Hill, is not based on a single true story. June, Sergio, and Jackie are not real individuals, and Hill has not stated whether any of the characters in the film are based on real people.
However, Hill said that his childhood in Philadelphia inspired him to create the characters and scenarios in the drama film. Hill spent most of his childhood in New York before his parents divorced, and he relocated to Philadelphia with his mother when he was a junior in high school. During an interview with the Times Union in 2015, the filmmaker revealed:
“It’s mostly autobiographical, a bird’s-eye view of people I knew and experiences I had.” It’s not sequential, and it’s fictionalized, but it’s based on true occurrences.”
What Is Brotherly Love About?
The plot revolves around family rivalries, parental expectations, and the sacrifices people are ready to make in order to pursue their dreams. ‘Brotherly Love’ is more than just a movie; it’s a raw cinematic journey that depicts the ups and downs of life.
When asked how he got his film on track, actor-director Jamal Hill claimed that he had been performing guerilla filmmaking since 2005–2006 and had met Charlie Mac, who inspired him and instilled the Hollywood spirit in him. Hill went on to say that they later pitched the film to Queen Latifah’s firm, Flavor Unit, together. They loved the script, bought it, and financed the entire production.
For the uninitiated, guerrilla filmmakers frequently roll the camera in authentic, unmodified surroundings, such as crowded streets or cozy homes, without the red tape of formal licenses. This approach gives the film a raw, documentary-like realism, similar to what we witness in ‘Brotherly Love.’
Cory Hardrict’s character, June, takes on the responsibility of providing for his family at a young age in the film, echoing the actor’s own life circumstances. Cory prepared for the part by drawing on his own experiences. Cory, like June, had to manage the difficulties of self-sufficiency from an early age. He applied this real-world authenticity to his part, infusing it with true feelings and experiences from his own life.
Jamal Hill, the film’s writer-director, is from the streets of Philadelphia, where he spent his formative years. Growing up, he witnessed firsthand the harsh and unforgiving nature of these streets. However, Jamal’s story takes an unexpected turn.
Although it was not a direct address to Jamal, the meaning was not lost on him. Denzel had just become the first African-American to win an Academy Award, and that moment fueled Jamal’s fire. He recognized that his abilities belonged in the entertainment world and was determined to make a name for himself there.
As a result, ‘Brotherly Love,’ while not drawn from the annals of real-life drama, does hit home! It’s like a societal theme song that everyone can sing along to. The depiction of Philadelphia’s rough streets, where young, bright-eyed dreamers occasionally find themselves at a crossroads, enticed by the less savory side of life due to social pressure, is both realistic and nasty.