Film Examines Complexities of Interracial Relationships
By: George Addison
Article first published as Celebrities Lend Support to Debut of the Short Film “Mulatto Saga” on Technorati.
“So many of us bi-racials feel stuck in the middle in America‘s
often racially divided society.”
Juliette Fairley, Writer – Producer, Mulatto Saga
Jasmine Guy was among the celebrities who turned out in support of the recent short film premiere of “ Mulatto Saga” which is airing nationally on television now through September 29th. “Mulatto Saga” will appear on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX and the CW TV networks as part of an African-American Short Films showcase syndicated by Badami Productions. Guy, known for starring in the successful Cosby TV Show spinoff, “A Different World”, served as moderator for a Q & A session dealing with the film, interracial relationships and being bi-racial. Halle Berry, Kimora Lee Simmons‘ perfume company Coty, Celine Dion parfums and Halfbreed Clothing Company sponsored the event.
Guy believes the movie has a message for all people, saying, “We come from all over the world as everybody did that made this country. No matter how the mixtures were made, that is what makes this country strong and that is what makes this country different. For that I’m very proud and I hope it gives that same kind of unification to other people.” The screening was held at the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum, based in Los Angeles, California and is renowned for collecting, preserving, exhibiting and celebrating the unique history and cultural heritage of Americans of African-American descent.
The short film,” Mulatto Saga”, is excerpted from a larger 90-page feature film script that is based on a true story about Fairley’s Caucasian French mother, Mauricette, and African-American military father James Fairley who met in France during the Nazi occupation and the impact of their interracial relationship on Fairley’s own romantic life.
Larry Earl, Executive Director of the Mayme Clayton Library, said hosting the event and film coincided with the museum’s mission to provide a more complete view of American history. He further said, “I think that when you discuss the African-American experience or the African experience in America, one has to determine the nature of that particularly with regards to relationships between blacks, whites and other people.
As the difficulties of the legacy of slavery continues to play out in our modern society, although we are past physical chattel slavery, Jim Crow has been erased, we still find ourselves dealing with the legacy of slavery and this idea of interracial dating. And, those kind of cultural relationships and the challenges that they may face even in this contemporary time are still very relevant.
More importantly, it gives us insight into the past by looking at how these issues will never be sort of fully hashed out in our society unless we continue to use mediums like film and storytelling to present these perspectives to talk about how they affect us and how we can go about making a change.”
Written and produced by Juliette Fairley, the 7-minute film was directed by Spike Lee‘s assistant director Michael “Boogie” Pinckney who has worked with Lee on Inside Man, 25th Hour, Bamboozled and many other 40 Acres and a Mule feature films.
Starring Fairley, the long-awaited short film educates viewers about the ups and downs of interracial relationships and the sometimes tumultuous life experiences of adult bi-racial people as it relates to their childhood “Mulatto Saga” examines the relationship of a woman who plans to marry the love of her life until she finds out that society and her fiancée’s parents don’t approve because her father is black and mother is white.
Fairley’s films are based on her own personal experiences as a woman with a black father and white mother, “I am creating content that reflects the interracial family I was raised in because I believe there are plenty other bi-racial people out there who want to see their mixed race stories on TV and film as much as I do,” said Fairley.
Continuously working on new film endeavors that she stars in, Fairley recently wrote and completed a second short film called Juliette Fairley’s Mulatto’s Dilemma. Fairley is currently casting her third short film Juliette Fairley’s Diary of a Mulatto Bride, which is also based on a scene from the larger stage play “Mulatto Saga”.
The film, based on the stage play directed by Charles Burnett, stars Juliette Fairley, Cassidy Knight, Kayles Souther and Yacine Simpore.
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