Feature Programs

Hue: A Matter of Colour

Friday, July 11 at 8pm ET

How black is black enough? How black is too black? What can you gain from being a light-skinned Indian, and what can you lose from being a dark-skinned one? Vic Sarin's documentary shines a light on skin colour — not race in itself — as a factor in shame and bigotry. The director takes us around the globe, examining national and ethnic attitudes.

Among others, we meet two light-skinned black women, both of whom share their experiences of turmoil; a black Brazilian who fights his own personal struggle against marginalization; a Filipino woman who has built a business providing skin bleaching to her countrywomen; and Tanzanian albinos who face mortal threats due to superstition about their light pigmentation.

Race, politics and personality interact in these peoples' histories; we hear about how skin tone has influenced them as parents, as spouses, as citizens. There's a lot of pain here, but also healing--some have achieved it, the rest are trying. Sarin starts from a personal position: as an East Indian transplanted first to Australia and then to Canada, he's experienced years of insecurity about his colour. The film is an act of catharsis--for himself, for his subjects and, hopefully, for many in the audience.