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I’m Charlie Walker
          review by Bobby Blakey


Throughout the years there have been so many amazing stories that alone should have been amazing to hear, but sadly were also marred by violence, racism and other atrocities. The latest film dealing with the struggles of racism during a major crisis is I’m Charlie Walker starring Mike Colter, Dylan Baker, Safiya Fredericks, Mark Leslie Ford, Steven Wiig, Greg Cipes, Travis Johns, Emma Caulfield Ford, Monica Barbaro, and Carl Lumbly from director Patrick Gilles. Could this film bring light to the amazing work despite the horrible treatment of Walker or will it fail to clean up the mess?

I’m Charlie Walker follows trucking and construction entrepreneur Charlie Walker against all odds, who was able to secure one of the most lucrative contracts to clean the coastline that threatened much of the San Francisco Bay in 1971, when two oil tankers violently collided off the San Francisco Coast spilling millions of gallons of crude oil creating an environmental disaster. With only three trucks, an incredible work ethic and a whole lot of heart, the film recounts the racial discrimination Walker endured as he tries to save the coastline all while fighting institutional racism from the very company that hired him in the first place.

Not knowing anything about this movie or its story I dived in assuming it was going to be this heavy film due to the subject matter and while those moments are there it is handled in a much lighter tone than I expected. While I wasn’t born at the time of the spill I remember reading stories about it years later. I did not know any details of the clean-up efforts and this is the perfect story to tell offering up laughs, empowerment and some heavy elements that help it stand out.

The story is narrated by Walker’s wife played by Safiya Fredericks who is also the practical voice to the family so makes perfect sense to tell his story. Colter is so good here bringing a confidence and swagger to the Walker that he clearly had. Never does he come off as the victim that is the case in so many of these stories, but instead a strong, confident man with a plan that is going to make things work however necessary even if that means maybe

breaking a few laws. The rest of the cast are all good here as well, but this is Colter’s show all the way and he shines.

This film hit all the right marks showing the efforts and ideas Walker used to make it happen, the twists and turns he went through to be successful and the flipping the script on those wanting to keep him down. I really enjoyed this film more than I expected and while some elements felt more like a TV movie it still manages to successfully and respectfully tell this story. IT is all wrapped up with the real life Walker speaking and the proper cap of letting us know what happened in his life after this.

Check out I’m Charlie Walker for yourself available now on digital, On Demand, and DVD from Shout Studios.

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