When I screen a film, I usually try to avoid knowing too much about it going in; I hold off on reading the press kit, for example, until after I've seen the film, so as to experience the film with the same information the average person watching it has. Cinnamon is one of those rare films where everyone, myself included, would have benefited from having a press kit handed out at the door, because what director Kevin Jerome Everson is trying to accomplish with the film makes a lot more sense with that background knowledge. In short, Everson is primarily a visual artist, and his films, which are "experimental" (meaning: not what one might ordinarily expect in terms of focus, presentation, or cinematography) are primarily visual and not quite what you might expect them to be.
In Cinnamon, as in his debut feature Spicebush, Everson blends documentary-type footage, artistic visual elements, and scripted narrative to tell a story. Everson's work, he says in his director's statement, focuses mostly on the culture of working class Black Americans. In Cinnamon, Everson turns his lens to the world of African American drag racing, specifically Bracket Racing, which uses a handicapping system that allows each car to have an equal chance of winning, regardless of the money poured into it. Everson introduces us to the Knowles family, headed by father John Knowles, a mechanic well-known in his local drag-racing community. John's brother Larry, 12-year-old daughter Ashley, and wife Rhonda are all involved in racing. It is, for them, both a family sport and a way of life.