documentary | NR | 2hr 2min
Opening at GFC: 12/13/2019
Weaving together interviews with 24 black women living in France, filmmaker, activist, and self-described Afro-feminist Amandine Gay provides an essential look at the challenges facing women of African descent living in what remains a systematically unequal society. The film is divided into short, pithily-titled chapters in which these eloquent citizens, artists, researchers, engineers, and bloggers “speak out” about issues including racist stereotypes, sectarianism, fetishization of black women, discrimination in the school system, religious freedom, and challenges facing LGBTQ members of Afro-descendant communities. Speak Out is particularly remarkable for its deft combination of anecdotal material—viewers will not soon recover from the heartbreaking opening sequence in which a succession of women describe their first childhood encounters with racism—and thought-provoking, sometimes surprising systemic critique. While certain issues such as the debate around the right to wear hijabs and the recent removal of the word “race” from the French constitution are specific to the French context, Speak Out powerfully articulates certain experiences shared by Afro-Americans. More unexpectedly, it reveals that successful aspects of American diversity serve as beacons of hope elsewhere in the world.
Ornella aka Loulou, Po B.K. Lomami, Rachel Khan
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