Tyreke, intern with our production team Talking to Crows, shares her festival experience and her stand-out films from this year’s festival.
Over the span of a ten days the CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival took place. This year it was an online experience, so I can’t really talk on what the experience was truly like. However, there were a lot of amazing films that were shown at the festival. Some films that stuck out to me are: Graceland, the Plumber, 7am Wednesday, Nie Widzieliście Tego, Co Ja Widziatam (You Haven’t Seen, What I’ve Seen), and A Shot Through The Wall. But my top three films are: short film – 2 Dollars; feature – Drought; and documentary – Black Girl in Suburbia.
Being that I didn’t have the full experience of enjoying these films at a venue surrounded by people, I still had a really great time watching all the films. The three films that are my favorite left me feeling something or it had aspects to it that I was able to relate to and understand.
2 Dollars directed by Robin Cloud, follows the story of Syd, a Black queer masculine-of-center artist, as they deal with daily sleights of ignorant coworkers, an oblivious boss, and a giant workload. Louise, a gambling-addicted coworker, pressures Syd to join in the office lotto pool. This film really stuck out to me because it was really funny, but also because I found myself relating to Syd in a way. Being a Black I’ve also had to deal with some of the micro-aggressions that Syd faced throughout the film, especially by their boss. Syd’s boss would talk with a Blackscent, which is a big thing that I have noticed in my life.
Drought directed by Hannah Black and Megan Peterson; “It’s 1993 and North Carolina is experiencing a historic drought. Sam and her younger brother Carl, who is on the Autism spectrum and fascinated with weather, are left alone when their mother is incarcerated for selling pot out of her ice cream truck. Sam crafts a plan to help Carl chase a storm in the West he is predicting, embarking on a road trip about family, forgiveness, and following your dreams.” This film really stuck with me and really got to me emotionally. It got to me in a good way, it had some moments that pulled at the heart strings but by the end of the film I had a big smile on my face. Watching a family come together and fight for each other just makes me happy and seeing how supportive the family is in helping Carl chase this storm is so wholesome to me.
Black Girl in Suburbia directed by Melissa Lowery, follows Melissa as she shares her own experiences from childhood of navigating racial expectations both subtle and overt. She has conversations with her daughters, friends, teachers, and scholars who are experts in the personal impacts of growing up a person of color in a predominately white place. “Too Black for the white kids, and too white for the Black kids,” this line not only opened up the film, but it also stuck with me throughout the entirety of the film. This is something that I have heard before and have thought about it growing up it is such a real concern for a lot of Black youth who just do their best in everything they do, especially in school. This documentary was really interesting and it was cool to see how the school in the film is working on educating not only its staff but also the children that attend there.
Overall, my experience with the festival was still enjoyable. I wish I could’ve had the full experience but under the circumstances I still had an amazing time and got to watch.