NYAFF 2016: Too Black to be French?

Friday, May 13th-Sunday, May 15th
The 2016 New York African Film Festival

Friday, May 13th, 7:00pm
Too Black to be French?

Isabelle Boni-Claverie, France, 2015, 52 min
In 2010, offended by the racist comments against black people held by Jean Paul Guerlain on the France 2 TV news, Isabelle Boni-Claverie organized several demonstrations on the Champs Élysées, negotiated with the power players, and obtained a series of measures to promote diversity. However, this incident, which she documents in the film, left her with a bad taste. How is it that in today’s France, this is still happening? In response to this question, using a first-person approach, the filmmaker leads an investigation. She invokes the model story of her grandparents, an interracial couple of the 1930s. Reflecting on her upper middle-class childhood, she probes the relationship between class and race. Not without humor, in the manner of: “You know you are black when…”, she asks would-be interlocutors to testify before the camera about the exasperations that they experience. Both personal and collective, the film does not hesitate to call existing policies and beliefs into question.

Q&A with director Isabelle Boni-Claverie to follow the screening as well as a light reception.