Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity, and Stereotypes - 2019 SAFF Documentary Review

The Documentary: Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity, and Stereotypes

The Director: Harleen Singh

The Story: With a lively backdrop of superheroes, comic books, and animated comics, meet three talented artists—a Sikh, a woman, and an African American—who are challenging the racist stereotyping currently endemic in America through their work in comics.

The Review:
The focus of this documentary is on the three artists pictured above and the challenges they have faced while making a name for themselves within the comic strip and comic book industries. The story is very well laid out and each is given a chance to give some real insight on the types of discrimination and barriers they faced and continue to face. The common thread that becomes quickly apparent is just how talented each of them is and that is what has allowed them to have the success that they have had.

It's important to note that it's not just who they are that has been cause for discrimination but the type of groundbreaking and thought provoking content they are creating, Eileen has created a modern super hero comic book where the protagonist is a Sikh male, Keith is the creator of political comics that discuss racism and prejudice in a very humorous and accessible way, and Vish is a comic artist but has become most known for walking the streets and engaging in conversations with people as a Sikh Captain America.

It's amazing to me how these concepts can be considered dangerous or frightening just because they are coming from an unknown place, I mean to those who see it that way. This takes us back to the simplest of truths that we fear the unknown and the solution is to learn and get to know what we don't know so we can understand it. The documentary itself didn't produce anything drastically profound but it does open the door for people to learn about these artists in a way that helps to understand who they are and why they have chosen to do what they are doing.

Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity, and Stereotypes is an official selection of the 2019 Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

TwoOhSix.com coverage of the 2019 Seattle Asian American Film Festival.

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