Sky Arts have collaborated with DBK Studios to produce five authentic perspectives of stories, which represent people from the Black Community, and they start proceedings with a tale of Iris coming out of his shell (or cocoon in this case) with ‘Butterfly Affect.’
The piece focuses on a boy called Iris who is trapped in a double life, wanting to be a ballet dancer, and trying to fit into a society that demands a certain type of man, who is willing to get his hands dirty. You can see his struggle throughout the piece, from young naivety where he is played by Noah Hicks, to his struggle to burst out of this bubble and be his true self as an older man, portrayed at this stage by Jediael Stiling.
The acting here is pretty good, with very few lines, and body movement and emotion used to show his predicament and that internal fight. Used as a guiding light is his cousin, telling him he must get involved in the street life, before later sharing his poetry and showing Iris that he can be himself and that he shouldn’t hide his true persona back, as he did.
The film is separated well into three stages: caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly. They indicate Iris is flourishing and learning to not follow the traditional ballet forms or cover himself up in his tracksuit in front of guys like Prince (Shadrach Agozino) so that by the film’s end he can be his true form and still be accepted by Prince and the others on his estate.
The use of the colour blue is important here, not only to paint parallels between Iris and the butterfly but also to show his innocence and the fact he is not happy within himself. He has shed that blue by the end of the film, showing his formation into a butterfly.
The use of shots is also well done here, whether the birds eye view shot of Prince and the others looking down on Iris, to show that he is intimidated by them and how they view him or scrolling across the ballet dancers to him at the back of the line, highlighting that he doesn’t feel like he fits in with them and their style of ballet.
This was a short, but sweet tale of someone becoming their real self and as his cousin says in the poetry, flying with their wings and the concrete of home inside them. Edem Wornoo directed his actors well and with good use of shots and imagery, provided a tale that will inspire others and show what it means to be different.
Butterfly Affect, Fields, Teju’s Tale, Why Me? and Daddy’s Girl are all available on Sky Arts and Sky On Demand Now!