This summer it’s all about saving money and supporting important films for our comunidad! I write this knowing that sometimes to support important films we may spend a little extra at film festivals, and if you live in an area where film festivals are coming (or have been) it’s def worth the energy to check out what they have to offer.
Mala and I will try to bring you some highlights of the film festivals we are going to this summer and year. In the meantime, here are a few films that have caught my attention and that I’d love to see (note that I’ve only seen some of these films and you can too, so they are not reviews), pero if any VL readers have seen any of these films I haven’t, please tell us your thoughts!
The first set of films is offered to view for free by the organization FUTURESTATES which are:
short narrative films created by established filmmakers and emerging talents transforming today’s complex social issues into visions about what life in America will be like in decades to come.
FUTURESTATES has also created a web resource for educators to use the films with grades 9-12 (but let’s be honest these are useful for any age!). The curriculums focus specifically on film and media.
The first film is one that was shared with me while I was away at a wedding. It is created, written, and directed by NYU alumna A. Sayeeda Clarke. Her film WHITE is in one word: phenomenal! It’s a short about 15 minutes long, and you may watch it online for free here. Clarke’s film takes place in the near future in NYC where the currency is skin color/melanin. She questions our ideas of identity, skin color, importance, class, natural resources, community, race, ethnicity, health, parenting, work, capitalism, global warming, and survival. The lead character is Bato, a Black Puerto Rican (yes, he’s written as that and indicates his identity in the film as such!), an activist in his community and expectant father. When the midwife working with his partner shares that she will have to give birth in a hospital setting, the couple must now find the money to pay the entrance fee to have a safe birthing outcome for their child. Bato must now find the money to do so.
The fact that there is a LatiNegro at the center of this story warms my heart. That we remain a part of the FUTURE is important for us to see and recognize. It also shares an important narrative of how white supremacy will/may continue in the future, but in new forms. This is one of those films where after seeing it I was so uncomfortable yet calm. I wanted more of the story and that alone is what makes this short film one of my favorites! Below is an interview with A. Sayeeda Clarke discussing her film: