The Enlighten Heist is an interesting concept at retelling Exodus 28 through the lens of the blaxploitation genre, and a Soderbergh-esque drenched setting.
The Enlighten Heist
Director: D'Angelo Harris
Dice: Joshua White
Guru: Brian Barber
Juan: Lemerell Randolph
Julio: Josue Rodriguez
Fat Boy: Torrey White
Casino Handler: James Smith
Text Written by Joe Horne
Published: 25 01 2024
In Exodus 28, Moses instructs Aaron that God demands he must serve in the priesthood, along with his sons. Breastplates made of gold are included in the vestments that are to be made. Paralleling this, the Guru (Brian Barber) instructs Dice (Joshua White) that he must undertake the heist he’s hired to do. A breastplate made of gold is what Dice finds.
In the first segment titled ‘The Casino’, this viewer didn’t recognise the biblical nature as the Guru seems like one of the lads in Dice’s circle. When we reach ‘The Setup’ this becomes noticeable. As Dice ducks and sneaks in his balaclava, the Guru follows behind completely unphased. By ‘Enlightened’ it’s evident that the Guru is a spiritual figment to Dice. The heist wasn’t carried out for greed, it was because a breastplate needs protecting. Guru tells Dice “Your journey has led you to this sacred duty. Now you must guard it with your life.”
“…behold the majestic breastplate… – a luminous tapestry that whispers the epic saga of the Israelites through the ages” reads at the beginning of the film. It oozes an air of pomposity. By the end of this tale though, it makes a little bit more sense.
Director, writer, producer, and editor D’Angelo Harris attempts to create a blaxploitation riff. This can be seen in the way music is applied throughout. It’s smooth and cool. The Soderbergh-esque split screen usage attempts to add a sense of urgency, but unfortunately feels useless and becomes jarring.
The Enlighten Heist goes heavy on the ‘enlighten’ and light on the ‘heist’. Retelling Exodus 28 is admirable, but this is a tale that could’ve been told more intimately. Show us what makes Dice and Guru so special if they are meant to be the new Aaron and Moses after all.