Out of My Hand

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    Out of My Hand

    Directed by

    USA, Liberia


    87 min

    • English


    John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award NominationMontreal World FFRaindance FFNew Orleans FFNew Hampshire FFStockholm FF

    OUY OF MY HAND begins on a rubber plantation in Liberia, West Africa, where the story’s protagonist, Cisco, works as a tree tapper. The working conditions are clearly below international standards, inviting analogy to slavery. Despite the workers’ attempt at unionizing, the corporation maintains its stranglehold over their lives; Cisco realizes this, and for the sake of himself and his two young children, makes bold to challenge the inherent limitations of his legacy. Through a chance visit from a distant New York City-based cousin, he negotiates a way to move to America, with eye toward escaping this vicious cycle, and attaining a better life for himself and his family. Cisco ends up living in a small, Liberian community in Staten Island; he is exposed to the city’s hectic pace and its impulsive denizens while working as a cab driver. As he tries to start a new life, he meets Jacob, a fellow Liberian and former child soldier who forces Cisco to confront his difficult past.


    • U.S. Fiction Award - Los Angeles FF
    • Emerging Filmmaker Award - San Diego Asian FF



    Bishop Blay
    Zenobia Taylor
    Duke Murphy Dennis
    David Roberts
    Shelley Molad
    Takeshi Fukunaga
    Donari Braxton
    Ryo Murakami
    Owen Donovan
    Takeshi Fukunaga
    Eugene Yi
    Tyondai Braxton

    Director's Statement

    In this age of information and the Internet, it has become in some sense a choice to remain ignorant of and indifferent to the world around us. Not withstanding the implicitly political nature of this film, my intention is to raise awareness to the simple fact that, behind the mass industrial products we use everyday, we’re tied to men and women in parts of the world we know nothing of.

    Another significant theme in the film is the idea that one cannot escape from one’s past. The central trauma of modern Liberian society is its recent history of civil wars, and the characters in this film deal with this history in their own ways. While my own personal background is both culturally and geographically far from Liberia, the themes I’m trying to relay through this story are universal. I believe that having an outsider’s perspective on the country allowed me a unique opportunity to find universal points of connection between the Liberian people and the rest of the world.

    And my hope is that this connectivity resonates with audiences irrespective of their own nationalities or backgrounds. With this in mind, I most of all wish to tell a story about a man who fights in earnest for his life, and attempts to go beyond his own inherent limitations. Which I believe, in and of itself, delivers a positive message to any audience.



    A must watch.

    Anna Paul, The Upcoming

    A very timely film that is both of the moment and timeless.

    Brandon Wilson, Indiewire

    Takeshi Fukunaga

    Takeshi Fukunaga


    Takeshi Fukunaga is a Japanese filmmaker based in New York. He's received support from IFP, Berlinale Talents, and National Board of Review. His directorial debut film, OUT OF MY HAND had its world premiere in the Panorama section at Berlin International Film Festival and won U.S. Fiction Award, the top prize at Los Angeles Film Festival.