In the last two weeks I have been getting closer with some of my international classmates. They are cool as hell and have so many interesting perspectives and talents. One thing I found myself explaining to people from India and Russia is why America makes such a deal of race. They don’t understand the concept of racism. Apparently in Russia there are some of every race in major cities and the parts of Russia that are Asian are cool with the people in the European part of the country. The more I tried to explain it, the more dumb it sounds. It was almost like I was trying to be a defense attorney for good reasons for racism to come about. We grew up with this understanding and move past it. It is amazing to see someone who just really doesn’t get it look at you confusingly when you try to explain the socio-economic effects of racism. They are not ignorant to it but they truly don’t grasp how strong it is in America. I was shooting a film with my friend Elena and she sent me this clip of a movie called “The Circus”. Basically laughing at how close-mined and naive our thinking is here in America.. The synopsis is below. Crazy: change your perspective, turn the lens around on yourself.
A melodramatic comedy based on Under the Big Top by I. Ilf and E. Petrov. Set in the mid-30s, Marion Dikson, an American circus artist, flees the USA and the racism that she has endured for having a mixed-race son. Finding refuge and acceptance in the USSR, as her career takes off in a new, successful show, she meets new friends and falls in love. Ultimately she decides to stay in the USSR forever and the film climaxes with various Soviet ethnic groups singing a lullaby to her baby, in a display of Soviet cosmopolitanism. This film is an extraordinary combination of Busby Berkeley-style choreography, stunts and classic songs with a clear anti-US, agit-prop message. Many of the songs became instant Soviet classics. Chillingly, after Stalins anti-semitic campaign, the Yiddish verse was cut from lullaby sequence in the film. However, it was shown in its glorious entirety again after 1991.