Kevin Jerome Everson’s “Cinnamon” delves into the world of African-American drag racing. He does this by combining elements such as DV footage with film stock, documentary and scripted moments as well as color and black and white footage. He also focuses on every minute detail of the racers and their cars. For as exciting as drag racing is (for those who enjoy it), this film is sadly kind of boring. How can you make racing boring you ask?
For one there’s no cohesive narrative. We get interviews with the drivers and the mechanics, but they’re just kind of blase. There’s hardly any racing and instead we see the cars getting worked on. Or we see main character Erin, a bank teller by day, drag racer by night, contemplating quietly to herself. “Cinnamon” is an art film about drag racing.
I think I should admit, I’m not a fan of any kind of auto racing so there’s some bias there. And I will say that the way Everson combines elements is fairly interesting. He often replays scenes over and over and intersperses scenes of racing with Erin meandering in the woods. It is an interesting aesthetic. However the film drags on (no pun intended) and doesn’t impart the kind of emotional immersion I think Everson was aiming for.