Set in Italy, ‘Autumn Beat’ is a coming-of-age film directed by Antonio Dikele Distefano. Written by him along with Massimo Vavassori, the script navigates a complicated relationship between two Milan-born black brothers. While focusing on their wishes and dreams in the rap field, it narrates their struggles and joys with an incredible amount of sensitivity. Their journey is not about fame and glory as much as it is about them trying to reclaim their identities through the lyrics and finding a way out of their troublesome lives. The story is told in three separate chapters that track different parts of their lives with respect to the distinct roles they were required to play. Streaming on Prime Video, it is a highly emotional piece of cinema.

Autumn Beat (2022) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film begins with Paco (Abby 6ix) rapping on a stage where his brother Tito (Hamed Seydou) and his girlfriend – Ife (Geneme) are standing among the audience, listening to it. She sees Paco getting close to another girl, and feels bad. Tito tries to console her, but she storms out of the pub. Outside, she confronts Paco about it, who tries to convince her that he is not cheating on her. While they make peace with one another, we witness Tito’s hidden love for her, which he does not express because of Paco among other reasons. While Paco keeps fooling around, Tito ghostwrites the rap lyrics that give him (Paco) fame and an edge over other rappers.

This first chapter titled ‘Brothers’ showcases the intricacies of Paco & Tito’s relationship during their late teens. Tito struggles to make ends meet with his meager pay and hopes to get a deal for Tito’s hip-hop tracks along with him and their friend & music producer – David (Dylan Magon). Because of being a ghostwriter, he does not get recognition for his lyrics since people see Paco associated with it. From the glimpses we get from him in his university, we learn about his knowledge and keen understanding of the social structure and where he stands in it.

During a recording session, Tito and Paco’s creative differences come into the picture and so do their personal differences. While Tito deeply cares for their mother, Paco would rather never see her. One more conflict for Tito is that he stutters, which is why he cannot rap himself even if the words are his. While he goes and meets his mother, Paco tries getting them a deal with a bunch of white rapper-producers. They find Paco’s work mediocre and suggest he go beyond his current mindset – to think about playing for a large crowd and not being a hero in just his hood.

Meanwhile, Ife is worried about being pregnant with Paco’s baby. Upon learning about it, Tito cheers her up in this stressful situation. Later, Paco returns home and informs him about Guè Pequeno (the white producer) not liking his work. Tito gets furious seeing him mess up everything that he holds dear in his life – be it the record deal, Ife, or their mother. While initially, Paco refused to follow Tito’s suggestion to sing along with the rap, he follows it and it works wonders. When he takes this new version filled with passion and emotion to Guè, he loves it and offers him a deal.

During their conversation, Paco shares his desire to put Tito’s name along with his on the album cover and David to have complete creative control over the work. They offer to bring David into their team instead of giving him creative keys, and reject the idea of adding Tito’s name. White that happens, Tito stays supportive of Ife throughout her pregnancy. During their celebration of the record deal, Tito learns about it and feels betrayed. He confronts Paco about it, but he stays mum on this topic. We also sense his helplessness in the matter where he does not wish to lose a chance of success. Even David finds it hard to fathom that he needs to work at Guè’s studio, but goes along with his offer.

Autumn Beat Movie Ending, Explained (1)

The narrative then shifts to 1999 where Paco and Tito are just little kids. This is the second chapter of the film titled ‘Sons’, where we witness their relationship dynamic with their mother. While looking for a house in Milan, a white racist homeowner controls every little action of theirs, assuming them to be dangerous. Even as a kid, while Tito (Mohamed Diallo) was always there for their mother, Paco (Marco Renna) wanted an escape from her. He wished for a world without her and Tito was caught up trying to make peace in their constant clashes.

While helping out his mother working for a white family as a househelp, the female owner strikes up a conversation with him. It is more so to let her adopted black daughter – Ife (Mamy Seny Gueye) have a black friend. He learns about Ife’a interest in music and also gets to go through a library at their home, filled with numerous books. While Paco continued disrespecting their mother, Tito tried to talk some sense into him, while also discovering rap because of him. Despite their differences, rap is one thing that made them connect.

While trying to earn their daily bread in one way or the other, Paco makes a name for himself by standing shoulder to shoulder with renowned white rappers with his rap skills. It is him reclaiming his identity through this act where he aces the battle despite being significantly younger than them. The music of American rap artists that David gives him to listen to helps him a long way in gaining more understanding of its form and structure. It also gives him a peek into how these artists speak their truth, unlike the Italian, white rappers who hijacked an art form that was theirs, to begin with.

On the other hand, while their camaraderie begins outs of her mother’s compulsion, Tito and Ife become close friends over the period. He shares things about his personal life, how Grace (his mother) is not his biological mother, and how he and Paco have different fathers. While Paco had gotten a chance to meet his father, Tito never did. His quest for him lies more in finding a semblance of history for his identity. While looking for his father with just a photo that he had of him, he comes across an officer who shares a few minor details and advises him to rather focus on those who stayed with him than those, like his father, who chose to leave.

Meanwhile, Paco learns about the rap written by Tito and gets highly impressed. He asks him to perform it and David (Francesco Danquah). While he gets impressed by it and decides to take him to a bigger circle, they get into a car accident. The trauma of it results in his speech impairment, which made him stutter, and made to lose out on any ambitions of rapping by himself. After looking back to their past, the film then shifts to 2022, where Tito is a respected professor of language.

Upon learning about Paco’s death, Tito heads to his funeral and it is evident that the brothers did not see eye-to-eye with one another and had not interacted for ages. While a lot of people gather to pay their respects to Paco, their sympathies make Tito break down. This 3rd chapter titled ‘Fathers’ introspects on fatherhood, with Paco’s (and Ife’s) daughter – Aisha (Mafoku Michelle Cloe Kengne), who needs to leave her beloved father to start leaving with her uncle. Both Tito and David serve as father figures for her. However, she does not accept Tito’s presence right away.

Autumn Beat (2022) Movie Ending, Explained:

Is Tito able to make peace with his past?

Tito himself is not ready to take care of a child, stating his work responsibilities. Also, he mentions being incapable of the financial burden to take care of her with his limited salary. David, who by then becomes as successful as Paco, tells him that he will take care of it. However, emotional bonding is still required for the uncle and niece to be comfortable living together. As a young child at an impressionable age, it is not easy for her to switch to his humble living conditions.

However, they bond over their love for language, and just like him and Paco, she is also interested in rap. It is evident by those lyrics that instead of being in school, she wished to spend more time with her father, and wishes to meet her grandmother. Her wish gets fulfilled and upon meeting,  she finds a familial connection through her grandmother that she perhaps did not get from her father. During their meeting, Tito feels how knowing her mother would help her feel more rooted. He gets Ife’s contact details from David and goes to meet her.

By then, Ife has a family of her own with a husband that loves her, unlike Paco. As a result, she does not wish to return to life which reminds her of feeling abandoned in the past. Being moved by his appeal, she comes back to see Aisha in person. However, it is Tito, who stays with her. As an officer tells him the past, those who stay back mattered more than those who leave according to their will. As individuals, both he and Ife make choices with the cards they are dealt, to the best of their abilities. 

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Autumn Beat First Look Clip


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