Clips from the upcoming documentary “Dark Girls” by Bradinn French exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color—particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture.
Directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry
Produced by Bill Duke for Duke Media
and D. Channsin Berry for Urban Winter Entertainment
Co-Produced by Bradinn French
Edited by Bradinn French
Bracing New Documentary “Dark Girls” Delves Beneath The Skins of Women Darker Than Most and the Separate Lives They Lead. Film to Premier in October at the International Black Film Festival in Nashville
(May 20, 2011 – Los Angeles) Has anything really changed since the days of American slavery when dark-skinned Blacks were made to suffer even greater indignities than their lighter skinned counterparts? Ask today’s dark Black woman.
Dual documentary Directors/Producers D. Channsin Berry (Urban Winter Entertainment) and Bill Duke (Duke Media) took their cameras into everyday America in search of pointed, unfiltered and penetrating interviews with Black women of the darkest hues for their emotional expose’, “Dark Girls”. Two years in the making and slated to premier down south at the International Black Film Festival in October in Nashville, “Dark Girls” pulls back our country’s curtain to reveal that the deep seated biases and hatreds of racism – within and outside of the Black American culture – remain bitterly entrenched.
Berry states of the film’s origin, “When Bill called me with the idea of a documentary about dark-skinned women, I was in right away. Being a dark-skinned Black man, like Bill, I have gone through similar traumas. Being separated and discriminated against by our own people. It stifles your self-esteem. Bill and I shared our similar experiences and immediately understood that we knew the best way to approach this.”
Duke adds, “In the late `60s a famous psychological study was done in which a young Black girl was presented with a set of dolls. Every time the she was asked to point to the one that wasn’t pretty, not smart, etc., she pointed to the Black doll that looked just like her. In her mind, she was already indoctrinated. To watch her do that was heartbreaking and infuriating. CNN did the test again recently – decades later – with little progress. As the filmmakers behind ‘Dark Girls’, our goal is to take that little girl’s finger off that doll.”
Dark-skinned Black American women from all walks of life will be covered with a key focus trained tightly upon women struggling for upward mobility in the workplace of Corporate America. “The sickness is so crazy,” Berry continues. “These ladies broke it down to the degree that dark-skinned ‘sistas’ with ‘good’ hair vs. dark-skinned women with ‘kinky’ hair were given edges when it came time for coveted promotions.” Additional interviewees for “Dark Girls” include White men in loving intimate relationships with Black women that were passed over by “their own men,” as well as dark-skinned women of Latin and Panamanian background to bring a world perspective to the issue of dark vs. light.
“Dark Girls”, which will screen in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York following its Nashville premier, promises to be a proactive view. Berry concludes, “The skin issue is a discussion we all need to have once and for all…so we can eradicate it.”