Discussion Questions for “See You Yesterday”

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following prompts.

First, how does this movie introduce us to its protagonist, C.J. Walker? What sort of a sister, student, and friend is she? What are her hopes and dreams? What are her concerns and her fears? What things make her likeable and relatable for us as an audience?

Next, who is the actor playing the high school teacher and why is he in this movie? What are the diegetic reasons for this scene at the high school? What is the larger significance of the scene in terms of making external cultural references? That is, why did the filmmakers decide to include this actor and this scene? What’s their point?

This film was co-written Fredrica Bailey and Stefon Bristol, directed by Bristol, and produced by Oscar award-winning director Spike Lee. How do think the filmmakers’ identities and experiences as people of color inform this film? Note you’ll want to consider the impact of these cultural factors on the film broadly since they influence everything from the setting and the dialogue to the casting and the narrative arc, etc.

On the surface, this film seems to be about time travel, but like most science fiction, it uses these imaginative elements as a means to explore deeper issues. How does this movie tinker with cause and effect? How do these dramatic loops of temporal possibility affect the characters’ (and our) understanding of our choices and their consequences?

Finally, this film has something of a double ending. What are the two endings and why are they both present? What point are the filmmakers making with the first ending? What’s their point with the second? While there’s certainly more going on here than simply setting up the possibility of a sequel, what do you think a sequel might explore?

Published by Chuck Caruso

writer of dark fiction (crime, horror & western noir), literary & textual scholar (american gothic, noir, po-co, sf), and cultural critic

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