• Crystal


Summer 2020

Spending most of the summer on lock-down in Hong Kong, I thought I'd for sure get all my narration down, record it professionally, and even do a Chinese version for the Chinese market. I never thought the narration process would be so challenging. I understand how the framing of words matters, but in addressing racial issues, it's a whole other level of sensitivity. Contessa, my creative consultant calls me out for things I hardly thought were racially sensitive. For example, I wrote an opening narration for the verite bus scene mentioning how we don't often do not think about where we sit on the bus. She asks me who's the WE I am referring to. Initially I wanted to say the Chinese. But of course I am hoping this film is seen by all types of people. If the WE includes black people, she tells me how inappropriate it is to assume they wouldn't think about where they would sit. Black people know very well where they would have sat and the implications of this are heavy and loaded. Thus begins my grueling learning process of writing in ways that will sensitively address racial dynamics, to be thoughtful enough to understand how words can come across, to be critical enough to make comments that stir thought and discussion. Race is not an easy topic to address. Finding the right words is even harder.

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