Stony- her parents are deceased so she acts as a parent to her little brother until he is shot and killed by the police due to mistaken identity. As a result, she (Stony) begins to lose control of her life and joins her friends in bank robberies.
Frankie- a stylish bank teller who gets fired from her job due to suspicion of conspiracy to a robbery that occurred while she was on duty. So she ends up working at a janitorial service with her friends, who influence her to rob banks with them.
Cleo- a lesbian who wants nothing more than to customize her classic car and is solely motivated by greed to rob banks.
Tisean- single mother to her son, struggling to make ends meet. She can't afford a babysitter for her son so she brings him to work with her, which results in an accident happening where her son swallows something poisonous. As a result, the child is taken away from her by Child Protective Services until she (Tisean) can afford to hire a babysitter. This situation propels her to join her friends in robbing banks.
Key Parts In the Film: After successfully conducting their first bank robbery, the women make it a trend rob other banks in the Los Angeles area, all the while being investigated by a detective. While casing a potential robbery target, Stony finds romance with a wealthy Harvard-educated bank executive named Keith. Keith genuinely cares for Stony, despite her lifestyle, and begins to expose her to his way of living, hoping that she will change her ways. Stony's feelings for Keith are equally the same as his feelings for her and finds herself slowly beginning to fit into his lifestyle. Unfortunately though, the police soon discover that her and her friends are responsible for the bank robberies, forcing Stony to leave town and her and Keith have no choice but to go their separate ways after her friends are killed in a police chase during their last robbery at the bank that Keith works. In the end, Stony cuts off her braids, symbolizing a new beginning of her life, while still mourning the loss of her three best friends and her little brother.
I think that this film dealt with the tribulations and emotions that many African American women, living in poverty, face on a day to day basis- wanting better for themselves and their families, struggling to survive in a hostile society, being stereotyped and mistreated based on their low income/lifestyle, etc. Many people dont realize how much harder it is to reach success in society as an African American woman and this movie shows that. Although, I don't think this movie gives a positive representation of women nor do I really consider this movie a "feminist" movie, I did think this movie was very good. The movie seems to focus more on issues of racism rather than issues of feminism, but it still is a meaningful movie that still could be incorporated into some of the issues of feminism and I recommend those of you who haven't seen the movie to go see it.
Sources: To learn more about the film, "Set It off," you can go to these three websites-