After college, I wanted to make a difference and live a life (Credits: rote learning of the Indian education system). Two years later I found myself living and working on issues ranging from Waste Management, Education and Climate Change. for the mountain communities.
Over the years I realized I was making an individual level difference which made me pretty upset. Watching ‘Knock Up the House’ and ‘Stateless’, I became aware, maybe the best I could do was ‘Raise Awareness’ or ‘Start a Dialogue’ hopefully it would mean rewriting policies one day.
‘Knock Up the House’ and ‘Stateless’s are the two documentaries I must insist you watch. Both women directors decided to start a conversation on issues concerning them such as colour women fighting for representation in the US Congress and the rise of Immigration Centres in Australia respectively
Knock Up the House
This behind the scenes documentary of four women of color beating the odds by just running for the US Congress in their respective districts was a bold enough statement. to rattle the opposition party that never had any ‘opposition’ in the past.
Alexandra Ocasio Cortez or (AOC), then a waitress/bartender in Manhattan, now the youngest woman to ever serve the US Congress decided to run against long time contestant Joe Crowley in New York, critics said she has zero chances of winning. This young lady proved herself otherwise. AOC had a different strategy to win, for the first time people mostly marginalized were brought together in the ring to fight the elections. She made seemingly complex issues understandable to the common man bringing in a whole new demographic group to fight the elections.
She proved to me that we must believe and maintain faith in ourselves when no one else does ( even if expert critics say so) when you want to reach the seemingly impossible, that every single voice makes a difference, standing together only makes it stronger.
The second documentary series I loved was, ‘Stateless‘ which follows four people whose lives collide in an immigration centre in the middle of an Australian desert. Cate Blancett, the lead actress of the Netflix Drama’s character was inspired by real-life Australian- German woman Cornelia Rau who was wrongfully identified and held for ten months in an Australian Immigration Centre in 2004.
As I researched I found that the only reason this story became newsworthy was unfortunately due to the fact ‘Cornelia Rau’ was white. A woman that looked like them, was detained wrongfully and labelled an ‘Unlawful Non-Citizen’ (UNC).
The documentary sheds light on the disastrous immigration system in Australia, the numerous red flag it raised (In Cornelia Rau case no collaboration between the police and the Immigration Centres) rights of illegal refugee people and the right to seek asylum and the sharp rise in mental health cases.
I would like to leave you with this quote if ever feel you don’t make a difference
“It’s only one straw. – Said by 8 Million people.”
Both directors knew that such injustice ignited a fire in their belly and ultimately decided to ‘Raise Awareness’ and ‘Start a Debate’ on the issues concerning them. Film making was their medium to start a conversation. I must say they did their jobs pretty well since here I am writing about it, spreading the word, doing my part.
Just know that one day it will your belly that would be ignited so use your art to start a conversation, no matter how insignificant you think you are, your voice could start a hurricane.