Friday Film Pick: The Interview

0 Posted by - June 4, 2010 - Blog, Friday Film Pick

The Interview is the final Work for All film in our series! A short animation by director Claire Blanchet, and written by Jean Hervé Désiré and Tetchena Bellange is about the subtle and not-so-subtle discriminations that occur during a job interview. And we finish off these 10 weeks of anti-racism films with a short about hurdle #1 for visible-minority job seekers.

The Story

A highly qualified man of Arab descent walks into an interview at a telecommunications company. His interviewer, a Caucasian male, greets him. Inspired by the formula often used in television shows like The Office for awkward comic effect, Claire Blanchet puts two people of different backgrounds into a situation together. She uses colourful and expressive sequences to show the two men’s thoughts. These fill the screen in a whimsical but powerful way.

Both interviewer and interviewee are sizing each other up, thinking one thing while saying another and making hostile assumptions based on skin colour and ethnicity. Claire cleverly addresses the sameness of these two men, by designing them to look exactly the same – the only discernable physical difference is the colour of each man’s skin. She gives them both a haunting design, with one eye just a dark oval – a visual metaphor for the men looking inward to their own prejudices.

Systemic Racism

The Interview addresses one of the main problems the Work For All films tackle – that qualified applicants are kept out of the system because of assumptions about the quality of their work based on where they come from or what they look like. Fostering diversity in the workplace needs to be considered standard business practice.

Co-writer of this short animation, and the director of Doctors Without Residency, Tetchena Bellange discusses why she needs to make films about racism, and how films on the subject will help change the perception of visible minorities and level the playing field for all job seekers in Canada.

In The Interview, the applicant speaks his mind, and the interviewer realizes that he has not given a fair assessment. How do employers learn to fairly judge a prospective employee? Can these skills be taught? We hope that these the Work For All films raise awareness and that employers across Canada will make more rigorous efforts to represent the multiculturalism of this country in their workplaces.

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