Young Cataleya in Columbiana.
The Wackness is the last movie that I walked out of.
The scene that triggered it was when the main character’s dad gave the going off to college advice of, “Try and fuck a Black girl.” Yeah. I was all set on those.
Last night Goldy and I went to see Columbiana. I don’t read movie descriptions. I like to just go and peep the narrative, get lost in it if I can. I knew Zoe was the star and that was enough.
So the film opens and there is a little Black girl subjectivity, her perspective. Now I knew that this character was awesome because Joan Morgan mentioned it on twitter earlier this week.
I had no idea.
For the first time in God knows how long, there was a little Black girl on screen who was bad assed. She wasn’t a victim. She was a fighter and she wanted to survive.
And she wasn’t bound up in 5011 pathologies. Well. Sorta.
There were tight close up shots of her that centered her big old almond eyes.
She moved like a ninja.
Shit, you rarely see women of ANY race on the silver screen move like that, let alone a little Black girl.
Nearly ten minutes into the film the child has made up her mind, and these are her words. She states, “I want to be a killer.”
I get it. The irony that a little Black girl wants to be a killer.
And you know why? Two reasons.
Violence is real for Black girls. My homie was just walking on U on Friday with her lady friend, and had bugged out homophobic shit said to her. Violence and the threat of violence is real everyday for Black girls. Now she is talking about packing mace. I don’t blame her.
The second reason is that we die inside if our stories don’t come out. For instance G-Dep, Bad Boy “Special Delivery G-Dep” walked into a police station last December and confessed that he murdered someone 17 years ago. 17 years? You can’t walk around with shit like that on your heart B. Nope.
You know how many stories killers have? #Ummmph.
Would I have been just as disturbed it were a White little boy in the film as well. No. Why? Because there are ranges of films that are released that tell stories about White boy children.
A story where one wants to grow up to be a killer would be out of pocket, but because there are a range of White boy children stories, it is just a part of a broader mix of options.
Black girls. No.
So I thought, this is what we have to do to get on the screen. Say that we are going to kill? #ummp. I walked out.
While trying to decide my next move, I got roped into helping this young Haitian man do his Neilsen survey for the new Sarah Jessica Parker film “How Does She Do It?” It was so funny because halfway through I say to him, “This data is really irreverent if you don’t collect my race.” He responded, “Oh, I have your race.”
I was like, in that case tell the Neilsen people that there are “No Black people in that movie, so no I do not believe a New York with no Black folks. AND tell them the film looks like Sex in the City Part 12. And NO to that too.”
Then Goldy texted me saying “Woman, this is $22, I didn’t come to the movies alone.”
I took my ass back to the theater.
I rooted for Zoe.
The film was well done.
The story telling kept the narrative going.
It was just seeing a little Black girl say “I want to be a killer” that blew me.
For writers, every sentence moves a story along. For fillm makers every scene, every bit of dialogue moves the story/narrative along.
All I could think was, why couldn’t they move that story along without having her say THAT?
Did you see it?
What do you think?
Is it problematic that Black girls have to want to be killers to get on the silver screen?