ADIFF: Two Films Capture "Stories Of Colorism" At Columbia

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White Lies

[African Diaspora International Film Festival]

The 'Stories of Colorism' Program

Two Mexican filmmakers go behind the camera to depict stories of skin whitening. Dana Rotberg in White Lies sets her story in New Zealand during colonial times and Marina Gonzalez Palmier, in White Like The Moon, sets her story in Late 1950's Texas.

May 02, 2015 6:00 PM

Teachers College, Columbia University - 263 Macy

New York, NY


"White Lies"

Based on a novel by “Whale Rider” writer Witi Ihimaera, White Lies – New Zealand’s entry in the 2014 Oscar competition for best foreign-language film – is an intense drama that explores with great humanity and sensitivity such difficult topics as race relations, bleaching and abortion.  Paraiti is the healer and midwife of her rural, tribal people – she believes in life. But new laws in force are prohibiting unlicensed healers, making the practice of much Maori medicine illegal. She gets approached by Maraea, the servant of a wealthy woman, Rebecca, who seeks her knowledge and assistance in order to hide a secret which could destroy Rebecca’s position in European settler society. This compelling story tackles moral dilemmas, exploring the nature of identity, societal attitudes to the roles of women and the tension between Western and traditional Maori medicine.

Directed by Dana Rotberg, 2014, New Zealand, 96mins, Drama, English and Maori with English subt.


"White Like The Moon"

A Mexican-American girl struggles to keep her identity when her mother forces her to bleach her skin. White Like the Moon is a revealing film about a dilemma not very well known outside Latino communities; that of the myth of the light skin superiority in Indigenous and Indigenous descendant communities.Directed by Marina Gonzalez Palmier, 2001, 23mins, USA, Drama in English


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