Last week, Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free debuted their “We Cry Together” short film. The visual is co-directed by Free, Lamar, and Jake Schreier, and is based on the song of the same name from Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Intentionally shot in one single take with live vocal tracks, it follows heated argument with his partner, played by “Zola” star Taylour Paige.
In an article by Variety published yesterday (Nov. 28), the Compton-bred emcee provided some additional context about how “We Cry Together” came about and the process of getting into character. “It challenged me to actually live in what I was writing, and really be there and be present with Taylour,” he said. “And I remember us going back and forth and feeling like, damn, I understand this character even more because I’m evoking the energy from it and the passion from it because it’s alive and direct.”
He continued: “So in writing, I say, ‘Okay, how can I make this feel personal, but also holding up a mirror as a collective concept rather than just a personal concept?’ I wanted to bring that drama because, at the end of the day, whether we like it or not — the good, the bad and the ugly, the pros and cons — that’s what makes everything evolve.”
Free also chimed in to explain how they had a very specific goal. “When we went into this project, Kendrick was telling me about how he wanted the room to feel thick, and the room to feel intense,” the PGLang co-founder said. “He wanted to really address topics that we, as a society, kind of shy away from.”
Since the project does not exceed 40 minutes, “We Cry Together” is currently a potential contender for the Best Live Action Short category at the upcoming Academy Awards.