This February (Black Heritage Month) marks the 3rd anniversary of our national PBS broadcast premiere on AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. This also marks the final month that our film, A LOT LIKE YOU, will be airing on public TV stations across the country. (So check your local listings!) We’ve seen a surge of hits on our website, and beautiful emails from viewers I will never meet have been streaming in, telling me about the impact this film has had on them. So very moving…
And yesterday, while loitering on the internet, I stumbled upon this online AfroPoP Discussion Guide for A LOT LIKE YOU, with beautifully framed synopses of some of the key issues in our film, including:
GENDER, POWER & VIOLENCE
According to the World Health Organization, about 140 million women (92 million in Africa) have undergone some form of female circumcision (also commonly referred to as FGM, female genital mutilation). There is no medical reason for the procedure and it often causes long-term damage to women’s health. International organizations, including the United Nations, consider the practice a human rights violation. In the film Ndereriosa, Kimaro’s aunt, says, “You’re circumcised because a girl is not expected to have the sexual lust of a man. That’s what they said. But it’s not true.”
CHALLENGES OF PERSONAL STORYTELLING
In the film her aunts ask Kimaro, “Now that we’ve shared our stories with you, what are you going to do about it?” Revealing the challenges a filmmaker might have telling a story that rests so close to home. At first Kimaro struggles to tell her parents’ and her aunts’ stories, saying “we tried for months to capture what we thought of as Chagga culture.” Ultimately highlighting how difficult it could be for a filmmaker to preserve the authenticity of others’ stories while also acknowledging that stories can really only be told through the lens of our own personal perceptions.
If you’re looking for some ideas/prompts for how to use this film as a springboard for some deep, engaging discussions, be sure to check out/download this thought-provoking A LOT LIKE YOU Discussion Guide!