“In this country, after years of Jim Crow slavery, postcard lynching, people slaughtered by the police. Like none of these violent images help people recognize my humanity, ”Myers said. “What I’m trying to do is test them and make them feel uncomfortable so that they can re-evaluate the worldview, not just how they see black people, but maybe just how they see their position, especially if they’re white, like how they see their whiteness operating in this world.
Myers’ film “The Sleeping Negro” is different from most of the program. That’s because Myers insists on filming – advice he passes on to his students.
“It’s a dying art,” Myers said. “Great filmmakers can afford to shoot it, and that’s a great blessing, but I’m trying to get micro-budget independent filmmakers to say, listen, let’s shoot on film. It’s like listening to music on an LP rather than an MP3 file. Like it’s doing something to the subconscious. “
The films the Coloradans share at the festival also delve into other controversial and deep topics. Those who are intensely personal.
Director Jamie Boyle is a sixth generation Colorado born and raised outside of Boulder who now resides in New York City. His personal film “Anonymous sister” is about how the opioid epidemic has affected her family. She says sharing her story can illustrate how far-reaching and lasting the effects of the epidemic can be.
“I hope the film helps people understand the nuances of substance use disorders, what it might look like and what form it can take,” Boyle said. “They are very, very addictive drugs. There’s a reason they weren’t prescribed until the early ’90s for anything other than short-term pain.
Boyle’s film traces his life to 1996 – the same year, pharmaceutical company Purdue sent out video ads encouraging doctors to prescribe more pain relievers. Her older sister got her first opioid prescription after a skating injury left her in chronic pain. Their mother would get her first prescription for drugs a few years later. She feared sharing her family’s pain in a documentary but found her first audience receptive.
“The second I started leading it by other people they felt the same because it’s the insidiousness of these epidemics, they crawl out of nowhere and then they come to define your life for life. of your children and that of your loved ones, ”Boyle said.
For other Coloradans, taking a sympathetic eye on world affairs led them to their new films.
In “The revolution from afar” director and CU Boulder graduate student Bentley Brown becomes personal in a different way. He sat down with Sudanese and Sudanese American artists and activists in the wake of their country’s revolution. They worried about their families and questioned their identity while living in the United States
“I was really interested in what it’s like not to be all excited about the revolution and the possibility of change in Sudan, but what does it mean to balance cultural identities? Brown said.
Growing up, Brown lived in both the United States and Chad, giving him the experience of a dual cultural identity. Her camera follows groups of activists and artists working on these feelings of no belonging, always connecting to their home on another continent and sharing stories of the first time they heard of the revolution.
“In this movie we see, you know, original footage of people who were, who are in the United States at the time of the revolution, but we also see this kind of borrowed footage that has been accumulated from sources on YouTube and so on from the revolution in Sudan, protests in Sudan, ”Brown said. “And it’s actually for the audience, it’s kind of a mirror of the experience of what the subjects of the film are going through, because they’re also here in the United States watching the revolution mostly through their eyes. phones. “