Reading time 2 minutes
Director Roger Ross Williams and author Ibram X. Kendi team up to produce a documentary that shows, with surgical precision, the persistence of racist ideas in the United States.
They had a predicate from the beginning, that's how you call the title Sealed from the beginning can explain. And “they” are the author Ibrahim, the documentary film director Roger Ross Williams (Apollo2019) turned Kennedy's book into a film Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Kennedy speaks several times in the film. Perhaps the crux of his argument is that racism is still rampant, despite what white people in particular say.
In his book, he talks about creating a “post-racial” society. A society where race no longer matters. But Kendi (pictured below) shows in Williams' film that race is a construct, and then Williams surgically demonstrates how old racist ideas (blacks were devils, etc.) persist in the present. For example, using creative montages with images from social media. Images in which white people demonstrate their superiority and question the existence of their black compatriots. But Williams also opts for nuance. For scenes in which he displays more “innocent” and perhaps more serious “casual” racism.
Sometimes black Americans participate in this without even realizing it. The cool thing about him Sealed from the beginning It is that you as a viewer may know what racism might entail. However, the Kennedy-Williams tandem adds a whole host of facets to this. For this reason, the film feels like a surprising thriller. Racism has been and will continue to be acceptable in many circles. But this process of awareness offers hope, as Williams hints in his documentary Committed.
Stamped from the Beginning, starting Monday, November 20, 2023 on Netflix
Evil tv scholar. Proud twitter aficionado. Travel ninja. Hipster-friendly zombie fanatic.