"Many of us watched the of the North controversy billow up over the course of the past week. It’s fascinating to witness something that so few people saw gain such traction, but it’s also heartening that the reaction was so strong. Though social media is a terrifying identity construction machine through which we pick and choose the values by which we wish to be known by others and an arguably imbalanced tool for popular education, it’s an easy outlet for denouncing and condemning racism. Many wish for there to be a greater share of consideration, understanding and love towards those who’ve been especially disadvantaged, dispossessed and whose well-being is still not the bottom line of our own free will. I tried to watch the film, but by the time I got around to it, the circulated link was removed. We've heard from articulate folks that it is cruel, and I've heard from very wise and loving people that it was also beautiful. I vacillate between desire to have accessed the coveted object of discussion and the discomfort of yet again being in a position of witnessing a stilted perspective enabled by a tool for self-broadcast and public institutions that intend on increasing diversity content, and crafted by a singular privileged viewpoint. Rationally, the film being seen by more people could create a better context for conversation about its controversial content, and yet intuitively, the film being seen by more people will invariably wound the people in it, as well as so many others who identify with them. This isn’t about censorship against free speech, political correctness against artistry. The time of distanced, self-profiting voyeuristic cultural practices, particularly in our post-Truth and Reconciliation nation(s) is over. And how about making humility as valuable as creativity?
- Patricia Boushel