The arts are more important to society than some people give them credit for. Not only are they an expression of the human condition, they also are a launching pad for discussion, examination and coming together. We should not ever undervalue that.
Josiah, directed and written by Kyle Laursen (Acting Like Adults), is a film like that. It will lead to thought and discussion. A short film of 19 or so minutes which packs plenty of punch. The way it looks at race and the crap that Blacks have had to put up for hundreds of years on this continent and others.
A discussion situated in Hollywoood, a place in which terrible behaviour seems to be rampant. If humans are apt to do something wrong it tends to crop up in Hollywood. Racism is no exception. From racist depictions to icing them out of postions of power, Blacks in Hollywood have not been treated well. Which is a gross understatement.
Being a Black man in Hollywood is tough. Josiah (Luke Forbes – from television’s S.W.A.T.) has been working hard for his big break. He has talent, just needs the opportunity. Being called in to audition for an important part in a television series looks to be just that.
Josiah arrives is brought into the audition by the new assistant (Melanie Chandra – from television’s Code Black) of a casting agent (Mather Zickel – Rachel Getting Married, I Love You, Man), who believes in him. He runs a scene with the director/writer (Kevin Dunn – Transformers, Warrior) and some distasteful language crops up in the script.
Language which makes the assistant uncomfortable. Her being against the script language is brushed aside or her boss attempts to due to financial reasons. However, a discussion with the director ensues. He explains his reason for using it. Everyone involved is left feeling less than comfortable. It becomes apparent that Josiah is going to get the role, but he seems less than happy about it.
Timely. Josiah exists at a time in which racial tension has shot up. Dialogue and awareness is happening. This film adds to that discussion. Language is important. The dialogue here is not okay. Demonstrates how important it is. Also folds in power dynamics and gender dynamics.
Racial issues are uncovering plenty of problems. Besides the obvious one. It is showing differences in thought and behaviour between generations. Loads is unpacked in a short amount of time.