For Angela confronts Aboriginal stereotypes

0 Posted by - May 29, 2010 - Blog, Screen

For Angela is a short film about a young mother and her daughter’s everyday experiences of prejudice and racism in their hometown of Winnipeg. This film is based on a true story and is the ninth film in our ten week Hate Racism? Watch these Films campaign.

On what starts out as a regular day waiting for the bus with her daughter Angela, Rhonda is harassed by some teenage boys. These youths look at the two as they sit calmly at the stop, and grasping at every stereotype against Aboriginal people in the book, they begin to chant and taunt the young family.

Rhonda, who is disturbed by this atrocious display from the three angry teenagers quietly asks them to stop. This only causes the abuse to escalate once they’re all on the bus. Fellow passengers look the other way.

This short but powerful film tells a simple story of what it feels like to be discriminated against. The main characters are insulted, ostracised, made “to feel like garbage” and shamed over their own culture. And in the final act of the film, Rhonda confronts one of the boys who has said so many damaging things, to teach him that there is a very human consequence to his hateful actions.

For Angela shows the lasting feeling of worthlessness referred to in every Work For All film.

In our recent release, The Colour of Beauty, we saw how non-white models feel devalued by the fashion industry. In Doctors without Residency, we saw how doctors from foreign countries feel they are not given a fair chance to practice medicine in Canada.

For Angela is great for teaching children that racial slurs have a lasting effect. The film has been used in schools as a discussion piece.

Aisling Chin-Yee is a producer with the NFB’s Work For All project and an occasional contributor to Art Threat.

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