A Woman In The Audience Asked Him How He Deals With Anger. I'll Never Look At Movies The Same Way.
His answer is deeply personal. And yet, I completely get it. If you've ever felt equal parts anger at the world and passion for a craft that you love, you will totally get it too.
At a press conference for the critically acclaimed film "Selma," award-winning cinematographer Bradford Young was asked about how he balances his anger at society's current state of affairs (particularly those involving racism and injustice) with his love for storytelling and film.
Here is his answer. It's worth reading the entire thing.
This is all I have. As a young black man, and as a black man with a family, this is how I keep myself from going to jail. I'm not going to let them undermine this. Every bit of energy I put into this is so we can collectively not be undermined.
I know that seems utopian in the sense that this is just a movie, but for a lot of us who have been continuously shut out of it — and for me in particular as a cinematographer of color — I don't see myself.
So, for me, I use this as a space to keep myself sober, a space for me to be a logical, healthy citizen. As much of a contentious relationship I have with this country, as my grandfather would say, "I respect Marcus Garvey, but I ain't going back to Africa with him. I'm going to get mine right here." Though I am going to go back to Africa, too, this for me is what keeps me sober.
They can intrude in my house. They can make me wonder in fear the fate and destiny of my son, who is a 15-month-old black boy, and it's real for my wife and I. That's something we talk about every day. They can come in my house in many different ways. They can come in my space in different ways, but I refuse to let them come into this space. Because this is what makes me a good husband. This is what makes me a good father. This is what makes me good brother. A good collaborator. This makes me a good community member.
So I think we just have to be focused on ... if it's just [one thing] in our life that's going to be sacred for us, so that we don't get intellectually destabilized and culturally imbalanced, we have to fight for that. And be confident that it's ours. This will keep us at peace.
And in case you haven't heard about the film that prompted the question, do yourself a favor and go see it. The trailer below doesn't even do it justice.