“A Girl Like Me” – An amateur filmmaker address hard issues.

January 28, 2007

“A Girl like Me” is a documentary by Kira Davis. Kira is a high school filmmaker whose work is being noticed both at film festivals and on the web. “A Girl like Me” was made for Kira’s high school literature class and is a moving look at the internal manifestations of racism among young African-American girls.

The film is a product of Kira’s desire to recreate the “doll test” done by Dr. Kenneth Clark for the Brown vs. The Board of Education trial. Dr. Clark asked young African-American children if they would prefer to own a white doll or a black doll. Resoundingly, the children choose the white dolls. Dr. Clark conducted his experiments in 1964; Kira wanted to see how the results would differ 41 years since school desegregation.

“A Girl Like Me” was accepted to the Media Matters Film Festival, where it can now be seen online. It has also made its way on to YouTube where it has been watched over 100,000 times.

Kira’s film is not perfect. There are many technical mistakes that a more experienced filmmaker would not make. But I would argue her that her ‘mistakes’ actually make her story more compelling. It doesn’t matter that the framing isn’t perfect, the pacing is a little off and the sound is bad. Her film feels genuine. I think that may be one of the reasons that so many people have gravitated to it.

You can have the most beautiful 10 minute steadycam shot that has ever been recorded, but if your subject isn’t interesting, no one is going to see it.

– chris


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