Ah, the power of Bardfilm. No sooner do I lament the relative dearth of Shakespeare films given an African-American cultural setting (for which, q.v.) than the wheels start turning, resulting in Romeo and Juliet in Harlem.
The film seems to be making the rounds of the festivals at present, but there is a trailer, which gives a sense of what the film is doing:
We have a Romeo of Hispanic descent (thanks for the note of correction in the comment below) and a black Juliet in an adaptation (a film that keeps Shakespeare's language, as opposed to a derivative, which keeps Shakespeare's plot but abandons the language) set in Harlem. I'm very intrigued by the idea, and I gather than the film is an ultra-low budget endeavor (despite having a big name like Harry Lennix), which may explain some of the more amateurish aspects of the trailer.
In any case, I'll be working hard to find a venue to see this film—and to see what issues it deals with—particularly in terms of black / white race relations in the United States—which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a timely conversation to have right now.
Note: If you're anywhere near Memphis on November 1, head to the Indie Memphis Filmfest for a screening of Romeo and Juliet in Harlem!
Update: The film is now available for rental at Vimeo!
Links: The Film at IMDB.