One Sweet Night is an elegant, dramatic tragedy of American history told in a visceral and impactful way. It is a short narrative film that focuses on one key part of a larger story of Ossian and Gladys Sweet, the NAACP, and African Americans from around the country’s struggle for economic freedom and just housing policies.
The short film starts on a hot summer night in 1920s Detroit. Dr Ossian Sweet and his wife Gladys are spending their second night in the new home they have purchased on an all-white street. The family, anticipating trouble, invites several guests for help and potential protection. One Sweet Night focuses on the internal tension of the main characters as they face racial violence while trapped inside a house that is their only protection. The story presents several different reactions from the violence terrorizing them from outside. The most compelling being the central character, Ossian, who confronts his greatest fear and forces integration into American history.
This is the second film by Story ARC and its opening starts with the main character singing, 'Good News, A Chariot's Coming,' a forgotten African American spiritual that also opens the forgotten film, 'Blood of Jesus,' by Spencer Williams, made in 1941. Spencer Williams was an African American actor, writer, and director of independent black films. His film career stalled with the limited opportunities for filmmakers of color at that time. He eventually ended his career acting in Amos and Andy. The reference to Spencer Williams at the start of One Sweet Night is meant to
express a commitment to telling the forgotten stories of the forgotten heroes of African American History.
That is a commitment Story ARC will never change