Curse of War

Brooklyn native, Sergeant James Powell (Ronald Graham) is a U.S. Marine suffering from symptoms of PTSD and struggling with his demons spawned from the gruesome atrocities he experienced during the war conflict in the Middle East. James seeks the professional psychological help of Dr. Dent (Sally Stewart), who does her best to help the psychologically devastated James during their frequent sessions as he continually recalls his war experiences in painful systematic detail. During this particular visit, James reveals a very tragic and disturbing detail about his experience in the war he’s never mentioned before to anyone, including Dr. Dent.
Frequently self-medicated with alcohol and prescription drugs, James lives alone, alienated from his family while utilizing voice recordings of his children as a source of comfort. During a cold winter’s day, James reminisces about his tumultuous relationship with his wife Sherri Powell (Famecia Ward) and their children David Powell (Omar Vincent) and Ali Powell (Kaya Slawecka). As James falls deeper into depression, he makes a decision to let it all go.

  • Abdul Malik Abbott
    State Property, Streets is Watching, Balance of Power
  • Abdul Malik Abbott
    Streets is Watching, My Normal, State Property
  • Ronald Graham
  • Phillipa Davis
  • Ronald Graham
  • Ronald Graham
    Key Cast
  • Sally Stewart
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    drama, war
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 5, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Abdul Malik Abbott

Raised in Harlem, New York, Abdul Malik Abbott attended the acclaimed High School of Music & Art as a painter and illustrator and grew up in the world of hip-hop. Wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps as a photographer and filmmaker, Abdul received his (film) Bachelor’s degree at the School of Visual Arts. He got his start in the biz working in the sound dept. on Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” & “Mo’ Better Blues”, as well as “Def by Temptation”, “New Jack City” and 100’s of commercials, movie & TV projects.

Abdul earned his creative reputation first as a Music Video editor, then made his way up the ranks at the helm of music videos, directing many of Jay-Z’s first videos, including, “Ain’t No…” and “Dead Presidents”, both going to #1 on MTV and BET. Abdul directed, co-wrote & edited the Platinum-selling, music video-mini-movie starring Jay-Z entitled “Streets is Watching”. It earned a #1 slot in Billboard. Abdul directed the hip-hop infused gangster drama entitled “State Property” (Lionsgate), starring Beanie Sigel & Jay-Z. Soon after a brief theatrical release, the modestly budgeted movie was released on home video and DVD and rose to be the 10th top selling video in the U.S. on Videoscan & Billboard and has grossed over 12 million to date.
Abdul directed the first four episodes for a web series entitled “Who Da Man?” and co-wrote & Produced an independent feature film in entitled “My Normal”, (Wolfe Releasing).

Following his other passion, Music, Abdul also produces and composes songs for his music project B.O.S.S. and other artists under the stage name “DJ ABBY AB”. B.O.S.S has released their first EP “Tricky Kinda Love” and the tune “Major Love” was selected for the 2013 Grammy Nomination entry list for “Best R&B Performance” and their tune “”Me & You” was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “The Loft” (2015, Universal Pictures) Abdul recently received a 2015 Telly Award for the music video he directed for the spoken word collaboration with poet Yazmin Monét Watkins entitled “Grateful” and recently completed another music video with singer/songwriter Kia Muze - "Speaking My Language".

Currently Mr. Abbott is in post-production on a documentary chronicling the rise and fall of the hip-hop mega-group Digital Underground as well as developing several feature films and TV shows. Abdul also works as a videographer for such networks as BET, TV One, E! and Centric, shooting entertainment news programs and docs. He also serves as A&E Co-chair of the DGA’s African American steering committee and for over 9 years has been instrumental in organizing informative film industry panels and major events honoring fellow DGA members.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As Director I found working on "Curse of War" less of a challenge and more of a privilege. I was proud to be able to work with an array of talented actors, especially the lead, Ronald Graham as "James Powell", who had to carry the film as a character who shows no sign of joy, but, who is also is not an bad man, just a troubled man. My main goal was to tell a deeply dramatic story about a subject matter that is all too real for hundreds of people. It was also an honor to work with the dedicated Producer Phillipa Davis, who was instrumental in bringing the entire project together. Though a very small cast and crew, everyone brought their A-Game. I am especially proud to present to the world the two up and coming young actors, Kaya Slawecka as "Ali Powell" and Omar Dellimore as "David Powell"

Story-wise, I approached the sensitive subject matter with respect and focused on realistic situations, staying clear of common Military exploitations as well as making a point to not bash anything having to do with the religion of Islam.
Music played a large part in the project. Even though mostly subtle compositions, I worked tirelessly along side the composer Evan Eder to create a score that compliments the film and doesn't distract the viewer. I also co-produced the theme song "Let it all go" for the movie with Evan and singer Natalieq who is the lead singer in my band B.O.S.S.