A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about becoming a “contributor” rather than a “taker”.
Tonight, I got to experience one of my closest friends making her contribution. And it was beautiful.
Sherien and I grew up together, but have become especially close over the last few years. We share many of the same interests and ideas and I’ve loved seeing our friendship grow. Sherien has always talked about one day making a movie – and though I believed in her, I am somehow still blown away that she has actually made it happen. She started creating the film “Colour Me” two years ago – and tonight, for the first time, I got to see the final product – Sherien invited me to preview her film at a focus group here in Ottawa.
“Colour Me” is a film that explores the tough concepts of race and identity through the life of Anthony McLean. It is a powerful movie that is a great starting point for dialogue (and even though I am biased, I really believe this to be true). It touched me on many levels, because although the film focuses on ‘black identity’, I think the themes resonate with anyone who has ever sought to explore where they fit into society (which, let’s face it, is all of us). What I think comes through is that we all have many layers, and that any attempt at classifying a person into one sort of ‘sub-group’ will be a colossal failure. This failure is perhaps due to the fact that sub-groups in and of themselves are so difficult to define and demarcate. The movie asks questions such as what it means to be black as well as where our notions of black identity come from. It was amazing to hear stories not just from Anthony, but also from the youth who were profiled in the movie and who also shared about their journey in trying to answer these questions.