Is Brotherly Love Based On A True Story?


  • Brotherly Love is not based on a true story, but director Jamal Hill drew inspiration from his upbringing in Philadelphia to create the characters and the tale.
  • The film has been compared to 1990s classics like Boyz N The Hood and Menace II Society, and though it was not a box office success, it has gained a new audience on Netflix.
  • Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, where the film was partially filmed, has a history of producing famous actors and basketball stars, adding to the speculation that the movie may be based on real-life events.

Brotherly Love depicts the story of three siblings — Sergio, June, and Jackie — as they navigate their different paths in life, and after watching the intense movie, it’s easy to wonder about the inspiration behind the film. The 2015 drama stars Eric D. Hill Jr. as Sergio, Cory Hardrict as June, Keke Palmer as Jackie, Quincy Brown as Chris, Romeo Miller as Sean, and Macy Gray as Mrs. Taylor. June is the oldest sibling and once had a promising basketball career ahead of him before that was taken from him when his, Sergio, and Jackie’s father died. Meanwhile, the twins, Sergio and Jackie, dream of making it big (in basketball and music, respectively).

Brotherly Love was partially filmed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the feature film took place. Overbrook High School is a real-life institution notable for producing famous actors like Will Smith and future basketball stars like Wilt Chamberlain, Wayne Hightower, and more. So, it is not surprising that some believe the 2015 drama movie could be based on a true story. However, that is not the case for Brotherly Love​​​​​.

Brotherly Love Is Not Based On A True Story

Brotherly Love still featuring June

Jamal Hill, the director and writer of Brotherly Love, did not base his 2015 film on one particular true story. June, Sergio, and Jackie are not actual people, and Hill has not revealed whether any of the characters in the movie are based on real-life figures. However, Hill admitted that he was inspired by his upbringing in Philadelphia to craft the characters and the story in the drama movie. Hill mostly grew up in New York before his parents split up, and he moved to Philadelphia with his mother when he was a junior in high school. During an interview with Times Union in 2015, the filmmaker revealed:

“It’s largely autobiographical, a bird’s-eye view of people I knew and experiences I had. It’s not linear, and it’s been fictionalized, but it’s based on real-life events.”

Related: Keke Palmer’s 10 Best Movies, According To Letterboxd

Brotherly Love Has Been Compared To 1990s Movies Like Boyz N The Hood & Menace II Society

Brotherly Love still featuring Jackie, June, and Chris

Brotherly Love only made $478,595 at the box office (against a budget of $1.9 million, making it a box office bomb) following its limited theatrical release on April 24, 2015. But the film has an audience score of 78 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as of the writing of this article, and it is gaining a new audience via its addition to Netflix’s streaming library. Plus, a handful of reviews at the time of the movie’s release compared it to critically acclaimed films such as Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society. So, even though Brotherly Love did not receive much love at the box office, audiences still enjoyed it.

Source: Times Union