Rating: Unrated Runtime: 1 hr. 30 min. Genre: Documentary, Drama, Family Written by: Peres Owino Directed by Peres Owino
Bound: African vs African Americans opens with a folk tale about two loving brothers, born in the land of warm waters, Africa. Suddenly one brother is torn from the other never to be seen again. The one brother waits at the water’s edge all his life then charges his son to do the same. This goes on for generations until several hundred years later, in the land of cold winters, America, when the daughter of one brother walks towards the daughter of the other brother and with every step they get closer until they walk past each other, one never noticing the other.
How did these descendants of two loving brothers become so isolated? The journey to the answer begins with Africans and African Americans recounting personal, hurtful experiences with each other. It immediately identifies the media as the source of the negative perceptions we have of each other. Throughout its young history, celluloid has depicted people of African descent as childlike, stupid and violent, pretty much how we have come to view each other.
But just when we think this is an open and shut case we soon discover that the media is merely a scapegoat when Assumpta Oturu (KPFK) identifies the slave trade and the African’s ignorance of the African American experience as the fulcrum of the tension. This turns our gaze turns towards the African continent, the genesis of the slave experience, and charts a course from the slave castles on the coast of Africa to the plantations of America. As we start this journey, one question soon dominates the conversation between the Africans and Africans, “who sold the Africans into slavery?” The complexity of this question is reflected in the different responses and the range of emotions it solicits.
Bound — Official Trailer
Carter Johnson interviews Peres Owino, writer and director of Bound, at the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival.