A Lot Like You

A Film by Eliaichi Kimaro

ALLY Review from Video Librarians

September 11, 2013


A Lot Like You 
(2011) 2 discs. 80 min. DVD: $39.99 ($99 w/PPR): public libraries; $250 w/PPR: colleges & universities. Collective Eye (web: www.collectiveeye.org).

Filmmaker Eliaichi Kimaro sets out to explore the cultural roots of her “blackness” in this powerful documentary. Her father, Sadikiel Kimaro, was a high-achieving student inTanzania, and later a political exile in the United States for 10 years, during which time he gained a college education and met and married a South Korean woman named Young, who was also the rebel in her traditional Asian family. Their 1970 wedding took place not long after the repeal of the last anti-miscegenation laws in the U.S. The Kimaros went to work for the IMF and the World Bank, traveled the globe, and raised Eliaichi in an “American Dream” of affluence. The filmmaker (who is herself in an interracial marriage) journeys to the Mount Kilimanjaro region to unravel family history—looking into her father’s upbringing in the Chagga tribe, and speaking to aunts, uncles, and elders who remained behind in a nation that fast-forwarded from thatched huts to modernization. Quite unexpectedly, Kimaro also hits upon belated themes of repression and the abuse of women, an aspect that winds up hitting home in a very particular and painful way. Featuring both the full-length film and a 53-minute abridged “educational version,” extras include an audio commentary, an interview with Kimaro, and deleted scenes. Mixing the highly personal with the universal, this extraordinary family memory-album documentary is highly recommended. Aud: C, P. (C. Cassady



Leave a Reply

Back to Top