In 1916 Hollywood, Jimmy Johnson, a grandson of slaves, is enraged by D. W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation.” In response, Jimmy, the Spike Lee of his day, makes his first low budget independent film. But, more importantly, he wants to pull his far flung family back together. His mother had mysteriously vanished when he was a youngster and has spent 20 years looking for her.
After a bitter dispute with his father, Jimmy wanders about the country alone, ending up in Hollywood. Getting a job fixing movie cameras, he decides to make his own movies with the help of a girlfriend and pioneer black actors.
After many years apart, his father and brother come to Los Angeles for their West Coast vaudeville premiere. His mother is working only a few miles away – for Griffith, no less! The family’s unplanned reunion explodes in re-opening long festering wounds. Can Jimmy make his family whole again?