Word-for-Word: Filmmaker and Howard University Professor, Haile Gerima on the “Lonely Struggle”

by • August 23, 2012 • Featured, Latest, The ArtsComments (1)990



Shout out to Shadow and Act by the way, they have been one of the most informative, and entertaining sites for a while now now. Anywho, while perusing the site last weekend I got an opportunity to read an interview done with Filmmaker and Howard University Professor Haile Gerima–needless to say the interview was quite the read. The bit that particularly stuck me was his words concerning “the lonely struggle”. I saw it fitting not only for young go-getters, but essentially anyone who is looking to impact the world. His words regarding passion, storytelling, and self-emergence were priceless.

Check out his words below:

In response to a question regarding specific filmmakers that he finds doing interesting work

“Well you know, they start and they disappear, and the reason is because they don’t enter into joint relationships. Most, especially the young filmmakers, do not see strength in communal or collective existence. They just think they’re going to conquer the world as individuals. There is no world like that. In cinema it’s always, even in Hollywood, a collective surge. A group of filmmakers enter and take over power. And so individual efforts do exist, which I’ve seen left and right, but they do not understand the collective, the communal, the importance of working together. And when you don’t work together you can’t emerge as a force. It becomes what some call a “lonely struggle” and individual self-destruction.”

“What I’m seeing is, one comes and establishes a name in Sundance or somewhere, which is not much for me because you have to go into the second tier of the struggle. It’s in the second level something is tested, if it’s consistent stylistically, artistically, ideologically, culturally speaking. In the second film is when it begins to mushroom. This system knows how to cherry pick black people. It’s like affirmative action – once a year, one is recognized. But what has to occur is self-emergence so if they ignore you, you don’t have to disappear. There has to be consistent emergence of two or three films – narratively, stylistically, consistently demonstrating you are here to go on. And on that kind of basis, I’m not seeing much. I’m just waiting to see.”


Check for the interview in it’s entirety HERE

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One Response to Word-for-Word: Filmmaker and Howard University Professor, Haile Gerima on the “Lonely Struggle”

  1. This is so true. It’s a problem within our community as whole though. Competition is cool and motivates but don’t let it hold you back either. It’s the same in the music industry. An artist gets a buzz in his city, makes a nationally played record, gets a deal and then goes missing. Why is that? Because they don’t grab the next buzzing talent/cretaive company/etc. in their region and put them on. Collaboration with the next hard working artist on the cusp is key to really making a long term impact. (Wale should read this LoL)

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