Today I will be discussing the film Future First.
About The Film
This short film is an artistic interpretation of a black girl’s response to cornrows being renamed as ‘boxer braids’. The film encourages black girls to reclaim their time, as society often tries to steal from us then decline us. It shows how our hair is deeper than just hair- it is a common thread that unites women across the world and is deep-rooted in our culture.
The film is being released by LAMBB [Look At My Black Beauty], a collective of creative individuals who have come together to redefine the images of people of colour in media. They are a group of boys and girls, across cultures that seek to uncover the politics behind the beauty. The film projects they work on tackle conversational issues, and the aim of all our projects is to push the culture forward.
LAMBB Co-founder and director, Naomi Grant says:
“The film also has a prominent feminist angle which was driven by the idea: what if we allowed black women to rule everything? This has never been done before, and only recently are we seeing black women spearheading movements, productions, and companies.
“Black women have throughout history been silent leaders – leaders who built mansions from bricks but were denied credit. Today though, women are no longer asking for a seat at the table, we are demanding it.”
Being a creative industry blogger, aside from the wonderful cinematography the first thing to capture my attention was the music.
The piece opens up with acapella with an array of vocal harmonies, reminiscent of a small village of people and perhaps paying homage to the history of those who have gone before us. The Afro-Caribbean cultural influence is very clear here.
Then two distinct voices emerge after the speaker starts. The beat drops adding a modern twist. Which was likely a way of indicating that the issues being addressed in the film are still being faced in the modern day. Bass comes in adding and drums synonymous with the sounds of the jungle which may have been a way of representing black women taking a fighting stance.
The two voices remain distinct even in the instrumental build up which could be used to highlight black women emerging victorious even in the midst of the surrounding chaos. I also believe that it is important that there is more than one voice as it shows that woman is not alone but rather standing together.
Future first simply put is words of empowerment beautifully delivered with a gentle yet subtly confident poise. Having a calm somewhat conversational tone to the spoken word was effective as it made it quite easy on the ears. There was a lot going musically so having an overly emotional or overly excited speaker would have taken away from the piece.
Even though the phrases used and subsequent imagery created was presented in a novel manner, there was something very relatable not only about the topics she discussed and the emotions these memories invoked but way in which she spoke about them. It was very clear that the words were coming from a place of experience.
The piece was stunningly packaged in imagery that was both colourful and representative. While there was a clear focus on hair and the beauty and power that derives from it, there was not one simple standard of beauty. From afros to braids to low cuts. Light skinned women dark-skinned women and all the shades of melanin in between they were represented. There was an array of complex multifaceted images of what it means to be a strong beautiful black woman.
To me, the film was about claiming back our heritage and standing united and proud as black women. This theme was reinforced by small details such as the wearing of the sister ring.
The was an incredibly successful piece. Every element was clearly thought out and intentional which really shone through in how effortlessly it all came together.