Scrappy and earnest, "One Week" tracks seven days in the life of Varon Thomas (Kenny Young), during which his life comes almost entirely unraveled. The picture spins toward melodrama, and sometimes the details of its story seem improbable and confused. Carl Seaton, the director, is dogged and resourceful, but many of the scenes look clumsy and cramped, as if he were too preoccupied with the movie's issues to think about its look. - A. O. Scott
�ONE WEEK� IN ACAPULCO
Imagine, if you can, that in �One Week� your life as a bachelor will come to a conclusion as you embark on a journey of marital
bliss (at least that is your hope). Nervous?
Couple that with the fact that your
soon-to-be bride is expecting your first
child - before you're even married. If you're
still standing, add to that drama the serious
possibility you could very well be infected
with the HIV virus. Still there?
Writer/director Carl Seaton along with
writer/actor Kenny Young and producer
Phil James and an impressive ensemble
cast from Chicago have created a
sophisticated unconventional film that
tackles an issue that the Black community would rather not deal with. In a community where homophobia still plays a major role socially, �One Week� comes direct in it's dealings with an epidemic that is affecting young African-Americans at an alarming rate.
In a suite on the 10th floor in the Hyatt Hotel overlooking the Acapulco Bay in Acapulco, Mexico, Seaton, Young, the entire cast of �One Week� and legendary music great Isaac Hayes, Phyllis Stickney and film/TV star Loretta Divine discuss �One Week.�
"It's an issue the Black community is uncomfortable accepting but the HIV virus and AIDS is very much a part of our community and we have to deal with," explains Seaton with nods of approval from faces that appear in the emotional roller coaster drama.
�One Week� chronicles a seven-day, hell-driven roller-coaster ride of emotions and reactions of two best friends whom both discover their names have been added to a list of a former sexual partner who has the HIV virus. Varon Williams (Kenny Young) and Tyco (Eric Lane) could have it including Varon's beautiful fianc�e, Kiya (Saddiqa Muhammad). What makes it more likely is the fact the two best friends have been sleeping with the same woman unbeknownst to each other. In �One Week� all hell seems to break loose.
"In the 1940's and 50's we had to deal with things like syphilis,� said Isaac Hayes. "During the '60's and '70's we had sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) such as herpes and the like that carried into the '80's. Now, as we usher in the 21st century we have this AIDS/HIV virus epidemic. We have to attack this thing or else it will wreak havoc like it is in West Africa, Ghana. You must be applauded for your great effort in informing the community in a realistic manner."
Seaton and company should receive a standing ovation. Recent studies from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta disclose that young African-Americans between the ages of 20 - 29 are contracting the HIV virus at an alarming rate. In a community where homophobia continues to play a major role socially and the AIDS campaigns appear to not reach it's targeted audience, �One Week� could be a blessing.
"It's a serious situation and you get to the truth of it," said Loretta Divine. "Thank you."
�One Week� is a sophisticated unconventional film that allows the situation to dictate the outcome. No sugar-coating. Just basic and raw. Informative, yet entertaining. Melancholy but true.
�One Week� was filmed in 16 days in the Windy City on a budget just below a million dollars in 1999. It has won numerous awards on the national festival circuit including Best Film Award at the 4th Annual Acapulco Black Film Festival in 2000. It has been chosen as the debut film for Film Life, a new distribution company headed by Jeff Friday, producer of the Acapulco Black Film Festival. �One Week� national debut to mainstream America opens on October 5th.
It is a film that Americans of all races should see. It is a film that African-Americans must see.