Powerful Short Film, ‘Charcoal’ Portrays The Effects Of Colourism


The use of bleaching creams has been on the rise over the years, as dark-skinned people seek to reduce/disrupt their melanin production. This is not a random desire, however, as society and the media have shaped our minds to think ‘lighter is better’.

Charcoal is a short film directed by Haitian-American filmmaker and photographer, Francesca Andre, which hones in on the vicious cycle of colourism. It does this through the different perspectives of three females: a young child, a teenager and an adult woman, and it is no wonder that it has garnered so many awards.

The trailer features the song “Four Women” by Nina Simone, which was recently sampled by Jay Z on “The Story Of OJ”. Both songs touch on colourism in different ways, and even though they were set and released decades part, the message still holds cultural relevance today.

Colourism within any black community is rampant, and stems from the preference for a proximity to whiteness because you know, white is right and such…

Charcoal will show next at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival from September 29 – October 11. Until then, watch the trailer below:

By Damilola Animashaun | September 27, 2017


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