Brooklyn teen tech prodigy C.J. Walker faces an ethical quandary posed by her teacher: if time travel were possible, what would you go back to do? In EW’s exclusive trailer for Netflix’s See You Yesterday, her mission is clear.
The directorial feature debut of Stefon Bristol, a mentee of BlacKkKlansmanOscar winner Spike Lee, has “something very strong to say,” the freshman filmmaker told EW over the phone.
C.J. (Eden Duncan-Smith) and her best friend Sebastian Thomas (Dante Crichlow) are the kind of city kids who run an underground Genius bar out of their garage for their Caribbean neighborhood and casually discover the secret to time travel for their high school science project (no biggie). Bristol balances these fun nods to the era of Back to the Future and Ghostbusters (their time machines look strikingly similar to proton packs) with the more traumatic subject of police brutality.
When C.J.’s older brother is fatally gunned down by police in the streets, her invention with Sebastian becomes her Hail Mary to right this wrong. But, as Sebastian warns, “this is about controlling something we obviously have no control over.”
“I love superhero movies, I’ll go see the Avengers, Spider-Man, but when I leave I feel empty,” Bristol explains. “Escapism is great, but too much of escapism only leaves our people stagnant. There’s no more growth. What I hope to do is figure out how to take a strong message and somehow make it digestible for everybody, not just for a black audience but everybody. This is still a conflict that’s happening. Right now, understandably so, the lens of police brutality is going down a little bit in the media because we have so many other problems that we have to deal with. I still have something to say about it. It’s still here.”