The social construct of Black masculinity is in the spotlight in a short film that’s taking on big topics.
“It’s definitely a heavy, heavy subject but I thought why not tackle a theme that I am desperately trying to understand myself,” said Yaw Obrenu Yamoah, filmmaker.
“Because myself throughout my life it’s been very hard to be vulnerable.”
Obrenu Yamoah’s debut film, Black Boys Don’t Cry, tells the story of a boy who wakes up to be told that his cousin has died.
“The film goes on to explore mental health, suicide, loneliness, love and the expression of masculinity within the Black community,” says a press release from the Africa Ubuntu Association.
“Interestingly, the film covertly speaks on how Black women are the anchor to the stability of Black men.”
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The ambitious filmmaker is debuting his films outside and the African Ubuntu Association in Kelowna is bringing the film to the valley with both outdoor and online viewings.
“It’s a bigger conversation and the need for spaces to express and feel comfortable,” said Trophy Ewila, Africa Ubuntu Association executive director.
“That’s one of the major projects we want to start, is to really find a community space where we can gather publicly as well as talk about some of the issues that are affecting us.
It’s hoped that the film’s premiere is just the first step to help highlight black artists.
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“Art is normally relegated as beauty and entertainment but art is important and integral even in saving lives,” said Ewila.
“There have been songs that have saved people’s lives, that have pushed people through, there is poetry that has carried generations across that have made people believe in more, and I think to take art seriously is something that he [Obrenu Yamoah] has done.
“Yaw Obrenu Yamoah embodies a Black history experience for us as young Black intellectuals interested in the language of Art. It is why we celebrate him. The positioning of the visual installation in the Cultural District is to celebrate his major contribution to culture and inclusivity in Kelowna. It is also to highlight the disconnect between major institutions in the Cultural District and the Black Artist community in the city,” says a press release from the Africa Ubuntu Association.
The Okanagan premiere of Black Boys Don’t Cry takes place on Feb. 26. A
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nyone wanting to watch is encouraged to tune in to the Africa Ubuntu Association’s YouTube page from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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