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56 minutes, 1993 Producer/Director: Kathe Sandler, Executive Producer: St. Clair Bourne, Co-Writer: Luke Harris
ABOUT THE FILM
A Question of Color is the first documentary to confront a painful and long taboo subject: the disturbing feelings many African Americans harbor about themselves and their appearance. African American filmmaker Kathe Sandler digs into the often subconscious world of "color consciousness," a caste system based on how closely skin color, hair texture and facial features conform to a European ideal.
A Question of Color traces "colorism" back to the sexual subjugation of black women by slave owners and the preferential treatment their mixed-race children received. The film is especially sensitive to the burdens borne by black women who often feel devalued by white standards of beauty. Disturbing scenes with teen-age rappers, a Harlem plastic surgeon, a television news anchor and a writer indicate the color problem is still very much with us, affecting employment, friendship and marriage.
This unusually sensitive film can help viewers examine the complex interplay between racial identity, culture and self-image in society and within themselves.
Kathe Sandler is a filmmaker whose work includes The Friends (1996), Remembering Thelma (1982), and Finding a Way: New Initiative in Justice for Children. Her work has won a Guggenheim Award and two Prized Pieces Awards from the National Black Programming Consortium. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University/New Brunswick.
"An extraordinary accomplishment... This documentary is unforgettable. I urge you to see it."
Michelle Wallace, One
"Its sensible, positive messages about self-acceptance in the face-off racism resonate strongly."
New York Times
"Sandler's revelatory exploration is certain to spark conversation and controversy."
New York Daily News
"A free-flowing conversation within the extended family that is black America. Sandler's tone, by itself, can begin healing the wounds it uncovers."