QUIET AND CLEAR
Shamed after losing her virginity, a young teenage girl enters an arm wrestling match with small-town patriarchy to reclaim control over her body.
TRAILER (Quiet and Clear)
When Aurelian blocks her on Facebook after taking her virginity, 13 year-old Peezoo senses life in Franklin, Louisiana, where the water is still, is coming to a halt. As her father’s grip tightens and his glare ensnares, Peezoo feels an even greater force drawing nearer. To reclaim control over her body, Peezoo enters an arm wrestling match with small-town patriarchy. From the sidelines, her father’s world splits in two.
In October 2017, the same month #MeToo went viral, Andre Verdun Jones – co-founder of the black LGBTQ publication The Tenth Magazine and Executive Producer of award winning short film Mr. Okra – invited me to his hometown of Franklin, Louisiana after seeing my experimental short film Dixieland (filmed in New Orleans). Jones encouraged me to explore gender and power in his hometown.
Making a short film that investigated gender inequality and sexual assault in this region (and that centered on the black, female body) posed a number of challenges. After listening to the varied experiences of local black girls and women, I began writing a story based on the life of our lead actress. Visually, I employed impressionistic principles to reflect the full interior life of the all-black cast and to implode tropes of black communities in the rural South.
Of equal importance was representing Franklin, Louisiana with sublime images of black life; to reclaim its sweeping landscapes as a home of black America; to paint the Deep South with light, shadow and darkness as a place for black celebration and struggle.