Antiracism In Popular Films: A Discussion Group

Photo by Don Hudson

Challenging Racism

This series will allow those of us who identify as white to educate ourselves about racism by discussing films that come from People of Color’s lived experience. The facilitators, Carolyn Lejuste (she/her, White), Jeanne Burns (she/her/they/them, White) will guide the discussion and be joined by Lee Sayles (he/him, Black) who has generously agreed to assist us see through the fog of White supremacy.

“We will demonstrate what gets included, connected, and critiqued when Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are in the director’s chair, the writer’s room, the crafting of the entire film experience.”

The films chosen for this workshop are all written and/or directed by a person of color.  Our discussion will consider the following topics: What does it mean for a film to have a point of view? What does “gaze” mean when watching a movie? Does our understanding of a story shift when we think about our gaze? What is the filmmaker trying to say? How do filmmakers’ technical decisions impact our experience of watching the film?  How does this film contradict films created by and for white people?  What can we learn about white supremacy and structural racism from this viewing and discussion?

Schedule: Thursdays at 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific, from October 15 – November 19, 2020

Film Schedule:  Participants will watch the six assigned films on their own.  We will discuss one film each day in the order listed.  All movies are available on Netflix except Delores, which is viewable on Prime with a small fee.

  • 13th – October 15
  • Mudbound – October 22
  • Disclosure – October 29
  • Dolores – November 5 (small fee on Prime)
  • Indian Horse – November 12
  • Black Panther – November 19

Format: Zoom calls.  The same Zoom link will be used each week.  Zoom link provided upon RSVP.

This session has concluded.  

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The Antiracism Film Club will be facilitated by Carolyn Lejuste, Jeanne Burns, and Lee Sayles

Carolyn Lejuste (she/her, White) has served as co-clerk of FGC’s Institutional Assessment Implementation Committee. She was one of twelve Friends who participated in the design, data gathering and writing of the report for the 2018 Institutional Assessment on Racism within Friends General Conference. She has recently rediscovered her love of film and film discussion.

Jeanne Burns (White, queer, she/her/they/them) has been an avid film buff for all of her adult life. She loves using film to talk about race and racism because art is the best way to change minds and, more importantly, hearts, about the systems of oppression that white folks benefit from and BIPOC folks are oppressed by.

Lee Andrew Michael Sayles (he/him, Black) is a transman of African descent, who co-founded the Spiritual Grounding for Racial Justice Group at Red Cedar Friends Meeting in Lansing, Michigan. As an amateur film critic, he is passionate about how film can help us learn, heal and reach an understanding that can spur us to action around racial justice issues.

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