FEMINIST FRIDAY: India’s Official Oscars Entry, & Women Of Color Confronting Racial Stereotypes In Film

Welcome to another Feminist Friday column! That part of our week where we take time to celebrate 3 videos we can’t get enough of at the moment. This week’s theme takes us around the world and celebrates the voices of women of color.

First up is the trailer to India’s official 2019 Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign Language Film. ‘Village Rockstars’, from filmmaker Rima Das, tells a coming-of-age story centered around female empowerment. Having traveled the international film festival circuit, the film has already racked up over 50 awards proving this self-taught filmmaker is someone to keep an eye on.

In a small village in northeast India, 10-year-old Dhunu dreams of having her own rock band. Her vibrant spirit, imagination and self-assurance stand out in a world where girls are expected to be timid and submissive. With her gang of boys and the support of her widowed mother, Dhunu faces the struggles of her daily life and hopes for the day she can finally play on a real guitar.

In an interview with Variety, Rima says she wanted to create a film that would resonate with anyone, but especially women and girls.

“There are many things as women we feel scared to speak about. But with the camera in my hand I felt empowered, I felt liberated. I could tell the story of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. I could tell the story of women who are in charge of their own world. I could tell a story that was my own and yet could resonate with audiences around the world,” she said.

The second video this week comes from badass UK filmmaker Marian Edusei, whose work has been featured on VICE, BBC, Dazed, ITV and more. She recently created this short film about how Women of Color in the UK confront racial stereotypes in film.

A timely and necessary piece, Marian outlines in an article for Refinery29 how her film is intended to be a “wake-up call for all women; for women of color to unapologetically speak out about their experiences and for mainstream feminism to listen up.”

She does acknowledge the progress made, but outlines how there is still a lot of work to do, especially in regard to intersectionality.

“As highlighted in this film, WOC do have a voice, and we’re starting to dictate our own narratives. However, as minorities, our stories are still largely underrepresented in mainstream feminism, and we need support and understanding from the white female majority in order to amplify our messages.In the immortal words of Maya Angelou: ‘Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women’.”

Ending this week’s Feminist Friday on a fun note, we’re checking out the awesome collaboration between Dua Lipa, who recently graced the cover of Vogue UK photographed by Nadine Ijewere (who is the first black woman to ever shoot a vogue cover), and K-Pop girl group Blackpink. The song ‘Kiss and Make Up’ is a catchy bilingual banger that is sure to top the charts around the world.

As reported by Forbes, Dua Lipa wrote the song a year ago, but struggled to find the perfect collaborator. In May she happened to be in the K-Pop group’s ‘hood for a Seoul show, where she got to meet the members. That was when she got the idea to collaborate with them.

“I was just like, ‘Oh my god, would it be crazy if I just sent them a song and just see if they liked it and want to sing on it?’” Lipa told Access Hollywood. “They were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ And they just went and recorded it and changed some of the lyrics to Korean, and that was really it.”

While we are waiting for the release of what is no doubt going to be an epic girl power music video, check out the lyric video below.

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