Toronto born Stella Meghie is known for her films about family and love, like Jean of the Joneses (2016), Everything, Everything (2017), and The Weekend (2018). In her 2020 film The Photograph, she digs deep into romance and family ties as two people learn about love.
Michael (LaKeith Stanfield) is a reporter working on a story that leads him to love in the most unusual way. His subject, a fisherman named Isaac (Rob Morgan and Y’lan Noel as a young Isaac), shows him some photos taken by a photographer named Christina Eames (Chanté Adams). Impressed with her work, Michael searches for her, ending up at the Queen’s Museum in New York, where he finds her daughter and the museum’s curator, Mae (Issa Rae). Their attraction to each other is undeniable, and they fall for each other after a first date. Things become complicated as Michael’s ambition could force him to leave America, and Mae’s family history unravels when the mother she didn’t know leaves her a past that will potentially foreshadow her own future.
Meghie takes the viewer back to basics with a romantic story about characters who are afraid of love even though it’s right in front of them. There’s a generational tradition of running from a life that seems too easy and uncomplicated contrasted with the hard lessons learned when the things we think we want ring hollow. The Photograph is a beautiful story of Black love, portraying Black people with complex and heartfelt lives and a strong sense of family.