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What Are You?

Maple Leaf This item is only available for Canadian orders.

Catalogue Number:  TVP096
Producer:  Video Project, Inc.
Subject:  Diversity, Documentary, Family Studies/Home Economics, Gender Studies, Guidance, Health, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  6 - 8, 9 - 12
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2019
Running Time:  20:01

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In this revealing documentary, eleven people with a range of backgrounds discuss what it is like being of mixed racial heritage within the context of North America. Each of the participants presents their unique outlook on growing up mixed and the challenges they've faced in their lives.

No two experiences are identical when speaking about their journey of how each person came to perceive themselves. Many speak of the difference between how they saw themselves versus how the world at large treated them. There are several instances of being "othered" by friends and relatives alike or how seeds of doubt were planted at childhood to disrupt their own sense of self. The interviewees voice unique concerns about acceptance, culture, and society and how even their own self-identification undergoes shifts.
What Are You shows how a seemingly simple question comes with a rather complex answer.
** Streaming rights not available to Post Secondary institutions - DVD only. **


Golden Sheaf Award

Yorktown Film Festival
National Black Film Festival
San Francisco Black Film Festival
Toronto Short Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Africa International Film Festival
Twin Cities Black Film Festival
African Diaspora International Film Festival
Los Angeles CineFest

"Family photos add visuals to their poignant words. This thought-provoking program is a plea for kindness, understanding, and acceptance that is needed in this growing demographic. Teens will identify with these questions of identity."— Booklist

"I recommend this film for middle school to adult audiences with an emphasis to discuss diversity as well as ethnic and gender studies, and sociology."— Educational Media Reviews Online

FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "For years I've been asked the strange, confrontational question: 'What are you?' The question concerns my racial identity, and it unsettles me because I don't have an exact answer and because I simultaneously don't believe it matters. But it's also a question that the more it is asked, the more it seems to matter. 'What Are You' is a short personal documentary that uses interviews to explore the lives of multiracial people (myself included) as they reveal the struggles and challenges of being of mixed racial heritage in Canada.

'What are you?' is a question I've been asked too many times to count. I think mostly it's a question that is asked out of pure curiosity without an agenda, but it immediately makes me feel as if I am some strange otherworldly oddity. It's something I've struggled with for years, and I hope this film helps other mixed people who are wrestling with that same aggravating question."
-Richard B. Pierre

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