There’s been something of a debate (slight understatement there) around cultural appropriation and the portrayals of people of colour in the media lately. I’ve not written about it before, despite doing a lot of reading up on the issue and examining my own attitudes, mainly because, well, the debate seems to have enough white liberal guilt without me adding to it. What I did gather from a lot of posts (whether informative and eloquent or unspeakably offensive) was that these debates keep going round in circles, happening year after year, without really seeming to move forward. This idea that I’ve been seeing all over the place, intersected with some thoughts I’d been having recently about the media industry and how it handles diversity.

I listen to and read the discussions in the media about the lack of ‘ethnic minorities’ in the media, both behind and in front of the camera, the same debates going round and round and very little changing, and it frustrates me because I can’t do anything about it. I’m not far enough up the career ladder to have the power to make any appreciable difference. Thing is though; that I can. Other than recommending university mates for jobs on projects I do get work on (perchance Gizelle? Film score composer, trombonist and I’ve recently discovered, an excellent funk singer) there are little things I can do as a film viewer. I can seek out films by people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds from myself, watch them, review them, recommend them. Its hardly a huge thing, but visibility is such a huge thing with films, if no one knows how good a film is, how can it be a success? To this end I’m doing the 12 Films_POC challenge, twelve films written and/or directed by creators of colour. Twelve chances to look at the world a bit differently, to think about other elements than sound design or cinematography. The idea being to do one film a month for a year. Shouldn’t be difficult; we shall see. I’m going to cross-post the reviews here in the hope that it will encourage other people to take part or a least give these issues a thought when picking what film to rent on a Saturday night.

1.  The Host/Gwoemul

2. Infernal Affairs/Mou Gaan Dou

3. Chungking Express/Chung Hing sam lam

4. Asoka

5. Monsoon Wedding

6. The Namesake

7. Persepolis

8. Chakde! India

9. Caramel/Sukkar Banat

10. Nina’s Heavenly Delights

11. 24 City/Er shi si cheng ji

12. The Fall