Bright: A statement of production and the current state of the US
When I was a child, I was told all races are equal. I was told everyone is human, and to this day I feel the same. My Afro-Colombian wife and my Mediterranean mutt genes make me confident we will have a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent child someday. However, the realities of race have always been in my face. I was given tons of flack for standing up for others, for saying others should stop saying racist or sexist things, and no before I'm accused in the comments, I am not virtue signaling. I believe in the concept of virtue signaling and I think there are many who claim to support social justice for the wrong reasons. However, that's not what I am aiming to achieve. I want a world that isn't just better for my children. I want it better for everyone, children and adults, men and women, and of every race and creed.
I figured after the insane holiday season, writing a book, making so many different amazing friends, getting a new mission for helping the Colombian people (of which I will be one next year, if I don't get lazy with my history and Spanish classes!), and celebrating with my family one of the best New Year's Eves ever, we would sit down and watch the newest Netflix release: Bright.
I am not the biggest Will Smith fan, but his comedic timing is still absolutely on point. More than the jokes, soundtrack (which yes, it is bumping!), and cast of all stars and up and comers, is the message behind the movie. It's a fantasy movie that relates directly to the current state of police relations, race relations, and civilian attitudes to the state in the inner city. Orcs are allowed to participate in society, but are 2nd class citizens. Even those in the uniform are treated with ire and fear.
Even the scene (SPOILER) with an Orc holding a sword in a confrontation with the police is met with immediate violence and firearms. I live in a country that has 2 former guerrilla groups that are in the process of disarming entirely, narco-traffickers, and general gangs and most police interactions never even involve fire arms even when the suspect has a weapon. There is even a famous video of a mentally ill man with a machete, swinging it around in a market place, in Colombia. The police kept their distance but maintained control and eventually saw their opportunity to disarm the suspect without violence or a shot fired. Bright brings this event of reality that so many live everyday, from Eric Gardner, to Treyvon Martin, to the numerous others who's names so many barely recognize if they even do that.
This is a direct reference to the treatment of minorities, especially towards African Americans by law enforcement and those of the "upper class". Living in Latin America, I have been observing my home from a distance, but honestly in the past few years, I've been more scared for my future son than ever before. However, to say that the solution is only to change the attitudes of one side. The value of every individual, regardless of race, role in society, or even being law enforcement or not, should be equal.
This movie, though controversial hits directly at home for me. It scares me, makes me laugh, and makes me think. It is honestly the first movie I've seen in 2018, and I will watch again and again.