Directed by Shatara Michelle Ford
Part psychological horror, part realist drama, this exhilarating debut feature from Shatara Michelle Ford is set against the backdrop of national discussions around inequitable health care and policing, the #metoo movement, and race in America. Test Pattern follows an interracial couple whose relationship is put to the test after a Black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit. Their story reveals the systemic injustices and social conditioning women face when navigating sex and consent within the American patriarchy. Winner of top prizes at the BlackStar and New Orleans Film Festivals, this gripping social thriller offers a unique exploration of institutional racism and sexism from a Black woman's point of view. Content warning: This film includes a depiction of sexual assault.
Watch a Q&A with writer/director Shatara Michelle Ford and actors Brittany S. Hall and Will Brill, moderated by Ira Madison III and hosted by the Coolidge Corner Theater:
Watch a Q&A with Ford moderated by Jourdain Searles and hosted by Indie Memphis:
"A film poised to become one of the year’s must-see indie gems... one the year's first true discoveries."
"A staggeringly impressive debut… It's a cinematic achievement.”
“Test Pattern offers a fresh way of examining sexual assault and its aftermath on screen, one that feels just as emblematic of its moment as Thelma & Louise.”
“A brilliant debut… whose intellectual impact feels almost physical in its intensity.”
“Stunning in its examination of blackness, whiteness, gender, and class… This is talent. Pure, plain and simple.”
“Intelligent and engrossing… [a] quietly momentous first feature.”
“Transposes the discourse around the #MeToo movement from whiteness to a Black female lens. In line with... I May Destroy You, it’s part of an indispensable breakthrough in media.”
“An engrossing human drama, one that examines the intersections and inequalities between race, gender, and healthcare in a poignant and powerful way.”
“A searing, yet nuanced, interrogation of the racism and sexism baked into our society at every level... Strikingly punctuates the detachment of realist drama with the expressionism of psychological horror.”
“Signals an absolute powerhouse talent… feels like a revelation.”
“Ford demands that we work to believe this Black woman’s experiences.”
"Ford has unfurled a story — and a burgeoning career — worth considering long after."
“A gripping movie with first-rate performances… an eyeopener.”
“A slow burn movie done right… with brilliant performances by Hall and Brill.”
“Shatara Michelle Ford has an assured, unique visual storytelling style.”
"Gripping and powerful."
Nominee: Best Feature, Breakthrough Director, Outstanding Performance – Gotham Awards
Winner: Lionsgate/STARZ Producer Award – BlackStar Film Festival
Winner: Jury Award – New Orleans Film Festival
Winner: Special Jury Award – DeadCenter Film Festival
Official Selection: Mill Valley Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival, Tacoma Film Festival, Cucalorus Film Festival
Writer Shatara Michelle Ford