CMRS 2017 Film Screenings

Mixed Roots Stories will feature the following two films during 4th Critical Mixed Race Studies conference:

Coloured: Mixed-Race Voices from South Africa

Documentary: Word of Honour: Reclaiming Mandela’s Promise

Directed by Kiersten Dunbar Chace

Photo Exhibition by Rushay Booysen

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017  1:00 – 2:30pm

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In 1997, two years prior to his exit from politics, President Nelson Mandela visited the Coloured (mixed-race) township of Bonteheuwel. While there, he delivers an informal speech to a crowd of men, women and children who feared their future once he left office. In 2014, twenty years post apartheid, a small South African crew led by director Kiersten Dunbar Chace traveled 7000 kilometers across the country to get a pulse on the broader Coloured community in South Africa and to bear witness to the promises he made that day in Bonteheuwel.

This beautifully filmed documentary shares the experience of seven individuals of different age and economic status from five different provinces and is held together by the fiery words of a Capetonian poet, questioning the definition of an apartheid crime.

 

 

Mixed Match by Jeff Chiba Stearns

Mixed Marrow founder Athena Mari Asklipiadis

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017  5:00 – 7:00pm

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When being mixed race is more than just an identity, it’s a matter of life of death.

Mixed Match is an important human story told from the perspective of mixed race blood cancer patients who are forced to reflect on their multiracial identities and complex genetics as they struggle with a seemingly impossible search to find bone marrow donors, all while exploring what role race plays in medicine. With the multiracial community becoming one of the fastest growing demographics in North America, being mixed race is no longer just about an identity, it can be a matter of life and death.

The screening will be followed by a bone marrow drive with Mixed Marrow

and CMRS conference and Hapa Japan Festival closing program.

Co-sponsored by Kaya Students for Independent Publishing

Free tickets will be limited. Check back for a link to register.

For additional conference programing and other details visit the CMRS website.

Day of walk-ins will also be welcome pending ticket availability.


Netflix Binge Watch with Mixed Roots Stories

Do you binge watch shows and movies online? We do! We found these 6 programs on Netflix  that feature mixed roots discussions. Check them out, critically discuss them with others, and learn more! We have provided some questions to consider while watching each one, as well as further reading/resources to keep you thinking and critically looking at mixed roots stories!

 

We are just getting started with our Netflix recommendations, and we’d love your contributions. What films/TV series have you seen that are relevant? What critical questions can we explore when/after watching them? What mixed identity groups aren’t represented here? Send us an email to info@mixedrootsstories.org.

 

Trevor Noah: African American

From Trevor Noah:
Trevor Noah brings to film his unique brand of observational humor born of his mixed-race experience under the South African apartheid system. In his most recent stand-up special Trevor weaves together compelling stories with wicked smart observations on the inanity of the racial construct in the United States. The theme of Trevor’s presentation is his journey to America, because he believes he can be fully black here. A clip from Gabriel Iglesias StandUp Revolution:

Mixed Roots Stories Questions to consider while watching:

1) Can humor be an effective storytelling tool for change, especially on matters of race, culture and ethnicity?

2) As you watch Trevor Noah: African American, do you think his point-of-view effectively challenges our racial assumptions?

3) How does idea of mixed/blackness transfer between countries?

4) What does it mean to be “fully black?”

For Further reading/discussion:
Nancy Goldman makes an argument in her paper that humor can be a powerful tool for social change – Comedy and Democracy: The Role of Humor in Social Justice. 


 

The Fosters

From abcfamily.go.com/shows/the-fosters:
The Fosters is a one-hour drama about a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Stef and her partner Lina have built a close-knit , loving family with Stef’s biological son from a previous marriage, Brandon, and their adopted twins Mariana and Jesus. But how will things change when they meet troubled teen Callie and her little brother Jude?

Mixed Roots Stories Questions to consider while watching:
1) What responsibilities do parents raising kids from different cultures than themselves have in teaching their children about those cultures?

2) Lina identifies as biracial – how does this affect her relationship with her partner, Stef, and her children? Do the conversations she has with her African American mother surprise you, or not? Why?

For Further reading/discussion:
Lisa Marie Rollins is a TRA (TransRacial Adoption) Activist. Her blog, poetry and live performance provide lots of insight into the TRA experience. Learn more here: https://birthproject.wordpress.com/


 

The Loving Story

From lovingfilm.com:
The Loving Story, a documentary film, tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving to examine the drama, the history, and the current state of interracial marriage and tolerance in the United States.

Mixed Roots Stories Questions to consider while watching:
1) What do you think were the most compelling arguments made by the Loving’s legal team to persuade the Court to rule in their favor?
2) What are some of the other Supreme Court decisions that have had a strong impact on the mixed community?

For Further reading/discussion:
For a more in-depth analysis on Loving v. Virginia and the people involved, see Race, Sex and the Freedom to Marry by Peter Wallenstein (mixedracestudies.org).


 

Parenthood

NBC recently aired the final season (season 6) of Parenthood. You can catch up/re-watch the first 5 seasons on Netflix. “Parenthood bravely and delicately take on the complexities of family life leaving viewers full of emotion after every episode like all good comedy/drama stories should! In addition to other major topics (cancer, post traumatic stress disorder and more), this series follows an interracial marriage and their child, the process of a transracial adoption and has explored an interracial teenage dating situation.” (http://mixedrootsstories.com/parenthood/)

A few key seasons/episodes:
Season 2 – Crosby and Jasmine (an interracial couple) are trying to figure out how to raise their child and if they are going to work on their relationship or continue to be separated. Addie begins dating Alex, and her parents begin to question the relationship, pushing her to move in with her grandparents. But are they questioning it because he is a different race or because he has a history of substance abuse?
Season 3 – Crosby and Jasmine work out their differences. Julia and Joel interracially adopt a son.
Season 4 – Crosby and Jasmine have a discussion with their son about race (Episode 4). Julia and Joel take on the challenge of raising their adopted son.
Season 5 – Crosby and Jasmine expand their family with a new baby girl. Jasmine’s mother has ideas of how religion should play a role in the families life.

Mixed Roots Stories Questions to consider while watching:
1) If your child brings home a partner with a mixed background (different race, culture, religion, gender orientation, country of origin, etc.) than what you expected, would you be concerned? Why? Would you voice your concern? How?
2) In Season 4 Episode 4 Crosby realizes there are situations his mixed race son will have to deal with that he won’t be able to protect his son from. How would you or do you answer these/similar questions?

For Further Reading/Discussion:
Raising Biracial Children by Kerry Ann Rockquemore & Tracey Laszloffy, takes on identity development with mixed-race individuals within a historical context and creates a framework to assist parents, educators, social workers, counselors and anyone who works with multiracial individuals.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa wrote Does Anybody Else Look Like Me: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Multiracial Children out of frustration in a bookstore, when she was unable to find a book that provided guidance on how to address the situations she was facing in her mixed roots family.

The appendix of both books have lists of useful resources!


 

Rabbit Proof Fence

Set in 1930, western Australia, Rabbit Proof Fence tells the true-life story of two “half-caste” girls who were taken from their families, by the government, and placed in a camp where they are trained to be servants for white families. The hope is for these children to end up marrying white Australian men so their aboriginal blood can be bred out. The girls escape and take off on a journey to find their family.

Mixed Roots Stories Questions to consider:
1) The United States is not the only country that has had a history of hiding unspeakable events around race/color differences. What value, if any comes, from being aware of a global mixed roots history?

2) In what ways do institutions continue to support and enforce the separation of different people?

For Further Reading/Discussion:
“My Place” by Sally Morgan

“Daughter Dies With Her Story Still Incomplete”


Black in Latin America: with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In this PBS 4 episode series, “Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. Discusses the massive influence of African ancestry on the history and culture of Latin America and Caribbean.” He goes to: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

Mixed Roots Stories Questions to consider:
1) As Gates interviews each country, how does his North American views of “Black” influence his questions, interactions, and expectations on what answers he is looking for in South America?

2) Both North and South America have a history of slavery with “Black” or African people. How are these histories similar and/or different? What lessons can be gleaned from both continents mixed roots histories?

For Further Reading/Discussion:
“Black In Latin America” by Henry Louis Gate Jr. http://www.mixedracestudies.org/wordpress/?p=31565

“Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies by Claudia Milian
http://www.mixedracestudies.org/wordpress/?p=25463


“Mixed Race Representations in Contemporary Irish Cinema”

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We were honored to have Dr. Zélie Asava as our Mixed Roots Stories keynote at the 2014 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference.

Dr Zélie Asava is Joint-Programme Director of the BA in Video and Film at Dundalk Institute of Technology, where she teaches courses on film and media theory. She also lectures in UCD Film Studies. Her monograph is entitled “The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Irish Identities on Film and TV” (Peter Lang, 2013). She has published essays in a wide range of journal and essay collections, including: Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture: Tiger’s Tales (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014); Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies (Oxford University Press, 2013);Viewpoints:Theoretical Perspectives on Irish Visual Texts (University of Cork Press, 2013);The Universal Vampire (Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013); France’s Colonial Legacies: Memory, Identity and Narrative (University of Wales Press, 2013).

You can view her keynote from the conference below:

You can find a follow up guest blog from Dr. Asava with the links to the videos referenced here.


Short Film Contest – $50,000 Plus More in Prizes for Three Filmmakers

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$50,000+ IN PRIZES WILL BRING 3 FILMMAKERS’ DREAM PROJECTS TO LIFE

Project Film Supply (#ProjectFilmSupply) wants to help filmmakers bring their vision to life.  According to Daniel McCarthy this is how it works:

Step 1: For the month of August, we’ll ask the filmmaking community to submit a short film idea + mood board for the project they’ve always dreamed of creating.

Step 2: Those who submit an idea will ask their friends, family, and followers to vote for their projects.

Step 3: The Community + TMB will decide which three stories rise to the top and which one absolutely has to become a reality (the two runners up will receive loads of incredible prizes)

This is your chance to bring your dream project to life! Click on the Link above to learn more and to apply!

 


UPAJ = Tap Dancing + Ancient Indian Dance

“How can you evolve without giving up your integrity?” is what Pandit Chitresh Das asks at the end of the trailer for this wonderful new film called Upaj:Improvise. Watch as he and Jason Samuels Smith learn from one another and share their cultural differences openly, critically – and creatively. We can’t wait to see this film!


MXRS reviews Belle

The Mixed Roots Stories team saw the new movie Belle on May 23, 2014. Below are some of our reviews of the movie!

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“Belle is a must see for fans of excellent storytelling! The movie direction was deftly handled by Amma Asante while ably assisted by the editing of Victoria Boydell and Pia Di Ciaula. At no point did I experience a moment that took me out of the story. Thankfully, they had an excellent script to work from by Misan Sagay. Finally, I have to state that the performances by Gugu Mbatha-Rau and Tom Wilkinson were pitch perfect. I really believed I was a fly-on-the-wall listening to the conversations of a family at particularly tense moments in their lives.” — Mark R. Edwards (Co Curator)

“If there is one message to take away from Bell, it has to be through the rising action of her assaulting her own flesh in frustration. How many of us can relate to, at any point, feeling uncomfortable in our own skin? The practice of systematically devaluing a life because of a concept of Race or privilege – a concept most, at one point in our lives, did not understand; nor, the reasons people can chastise and ostracize others for it while they believe it is in good conscience. It is a frustration we hope to suffer less from as time goes on. From beginning to end, Belle imbeds a persistent thought that reminds us how far we’ve come and how far we have to go toward not just an equal, but an acceptant society.” — Jonathan Andrew (Creative Technologist)

“In my opinion, the most thought-provoking moments in Belle are those instances where Dido tries to find herself in literature or art and laments that she does not relate to what she sees. Even today this lack of representation is relevant! Just how many films, books, or TV shows are made with the ‘others’ of society in mind? Not too many. It wasn’t until Dido allowed her story to be told (through the work of the painter) that she finally found herself in art. The story of Belle is one in which a mixed individual is dying to get her story, her experiences, and her astute observations out in order to change public opinion. Belle manages to beautifully capture those moments of progress and joy along with the moments of frustration and desperation that come with standing up for what you know is right. Belle is a wonderfully crafted film and is a must-see for 2014!” — Moya Márquez (Social Media Specialist)

“From start to finish, Belle was filled, with the complexities, created by society, that individuals of mixed heritage often face. It was refreshing to finally see these complexities portrayed honestly on film. Amma Asante artistically and boldly directs an amazing cast in the telling of this story, based on a true story.  Though it is set in Britain, in 1769, I would argue that many of the themes of identity are relevant today for mixed individuals everywhere. I enjoyed seeing the bond of sisterhood presented between Dido (Belle) and Elizabeth, that was void of the social contamination of their racial differences; proving that family is not limited by blood. Belle demonstrates that people are people and all deserve to be treated with justice, fairness, and love no matter the color of their skin, or the lineage of their parents. It is about time that stories of mixed individuals are being told void of the stereotypes that have plagued the mixed race population in the past. It is my hope that future films will continue to tell stories with mixed race individuals, interracial couples/families, etc. Bravo, well done, and thank you!” — Chandra Crudup (Co Curator)

Have you seen Belle yet?  If not, this is one to see!  Share your thoughts about the movie on our Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesdays in Mississippi: Interracial Support in the Civil Rights Era

Wednesdays in Mississippi is a documentary film-in-progress about a group of women who came together – regardless of their supposed ‘racial’ differences – to fight prejudice during the Civil Rights era in the United States. The film is looking for funding, so please take a look at their site to learn more, and support this project however you can (financial support, join their Facebook page, share this post and their website with others to help spread the word!)

Wednesdays in Mississippi Official Website

Wednesdays in Mississippi Facebook Page



New Film about Roger Ebert: Life Itself

Not only was Roger Ebert one of the most well-known film critics of our time and an outspoken social activist, he was also very open about his interracial relationship. Kartemquin Films (the production company behind the great documentaries Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters) premiered their new documentary about Ebert, Life Itself, at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. We can’t wait to see it!

Here’s a clip of Ebert defending the Asian American filmmakers of Better Luck Tomorrow – showing his intimate understanding of the importance of allowing us to tell our own stories: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSzP9YV3jbc