Short Film “Night” Explores Privilege, Micro-Aggressions and Racism With An Unexpected Plot Twist

January 14, 2018  |  

 

 

short film night explores micro-aggressions

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If you’ve ever wanted your white friends to experience life in the shoes of women of color for a day, then Night is a must-see. Premiering on PAPER, Night was selected for the Oscar-qualifying Nashville Film Festival and Urbanworld Film Festival, in addition to winning the “Huffington Post Arts Impact Award” at the Nitehawk Shorts Festival in New York. Recently the mag sat down with Dutch filmmaker Joosje Duk to discuss the clever plot twist and how exactly the film captured immense feeling in eight minutes which follows four friends for a night of “fun” out on the town.

Besides the tones of racism and privilege, Duk says ultimately the film is about friendship:

“NIGHT is a short drama about micro-aggressions: subtle forms of racism that are easily overlooked but no less important to point out. NIGHT is also a film about friendship, and how relationships within a friend group change when people aren’t completely honest and open to each other.”

Duk says she was inspired to make the film as a result of the micro-aggressions that people often encounter on a daily basis but are silent about:

“For my film I wanted to zoom in on the small, everyday interactions of micro-aggressions I see happening around me all the time, which is why I picked New York nightlife as my setting. I once experienced a similar situation to the film’s plot when I was in line for a club in France. Like the girls in the film, a group of guys in front of me was denied at the door without any explanation. Nobody said or did anything, even though everyone knew why they were being denied. That moment always stuck with me.”

Duk also shares that it was important for her to include the viewpoints of diverse women who helped her revise and edit the script. She says she ultimately learned how difficult it is for white women to understand their own privilege:

“In the writing process of NIGHT, I talked to many women from various backgrounds in New York who helped me edit and revise the script. They explained to me that it’s hard for white women to understand their privilege unless they were to experience what it’s like to be a minority in the United States. When something racist occurs, many people feel like minorities are being ‘too sensitive,’ but what would they say if they were the ones being discriminated against?”

Lastly she explains that she hopes the film allows people to understand experiences of those that are different from them:

“When someone is similar to you, you know what you can expect from them. So engaging with like-minded people is always going to be more comfortable than interacting with people who are different from you, which is why I think people don’t like stepping into the unknown; it’s too scary. Films make it easier for you to get to know “the other” because you don’t have to actively get involved.”

You can check out Duk’s short film below:

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