Director: Medhin Tewolde Serrano
Mexico, 2020 | Spanish with English subtitles | 72 min | Rated PG
Q&A with Medhin Tewolde Serrano, Elena Martínez & members of the VLAFF Youth Jury: Watch on Facebook!
View IN-PERSON at The Cinematheque: Friday, Aug 28, 7:00pm
I was about seven years old the first time someone called me “black” on the street. I turned around to see who they were talking to, until I realized it was me. That day I understood I was black, and the laughter it caused among the people nearby made me think being a black person wasn’t that great… Was this only happening to me? Or did it happen to other black women? “Negra” shows the director in her search of exploring what it means to inhabit Mexico as a black woman. It tells the story of five afro-descendant women from southern Mexico, exposing racism, resistance and processes of self-acceptance, strategies for transcending stereotypes, and the celebration of their identity.
“Negra is an act of communion with other Afro-descendant women; it is an act of resistance, which implies a reassertion of pride and reclaiming the expressions of a heritage that society has taught them to ignore, deny or whitewash” – Ambulante Festival, Mexico
Tenía por ahí siete años cuando por primera vez alguien en la calle me llamó “negra”. Volteé a ver a quién llamaban, hasta que entendí que era a mí. Ese día supe que yo era negra, y las risas de alrededor me hicieron ver que quizás no era algo bueno… ¿Esto me había pasado solo a mí, o también le había pasado a otras? “Negra” es un documental que narra la exploración de la directora en una búsqueda con otras mujeres afrodescendientes y lo que a cada una le supone habitar México en cuerpo de mujer negra. Trenza historias de 5 mujeres del sureste mexicano, exponiendo el racismo vivido, compartiendo procesos de resistencia y auto-aceptación, las estrategias construidas para trascender los estereotipos, y la celebración de su identidad.
Medhin Tewolde Serrano is an Eritrean-Mexican director originally from Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, who has lived in Chiapas for over 10 years. After her training in documentary filmmaking, she became concerned with telling the stories of Others. She has dedicated herself to accompanying participatory video processes and community communication in Spain, Tunisia, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Her accompaniment of these processes revealed her own process of constructing identity as an Afro-descendant woman, which motivated her to create a documentary that speaks to the significance and implication of being a black woman in Mexico.