(WBRE/WYOU) — For many, just getting in front of a camera is difficult enough. For others, it’s laying their soul bare and telling a personal story. For one local man and his family? It’s now a point of pride.
“I guess I do have a biased opinion because it’s my son. But those two young men did an absolutely brilliant job of showing a younger man who’s out there and active and has friends of all walks of life. You still are going to be impacted by what you see,” Edlewis Cooper of Scranton said.
Two former NCAA Division I athletes connecting after years apart. One behind the camera and one in front, giving the world a look at the experience.
“Capturing how every black person in America is actually feeling. You’re traumatized by the things that you see. It’s scary which is why I wanted to make it more of a thriller because it’s scary to be black in America,” Carlton Heard said.
Running less than 20 minutes, you follow James Grant, played by Cedrick Cooper, who’s caught in what the film depicts as ‘the black hole.’ Constantly surrounded by headlines and reports of real-life tragedies.
“In today’s social climate? You have to look at this. This message is so important. It needs to be told and there’s no silencing it. How can I learn more? How can I really understand more? This. That’s all you have to do is show them what Carlton created. That’s all you have to do,” Cooper said.
A raw, unnerving depiction of life in the black community with commentary on change through the eyes of the lead character.
“This is something that was built upon a complete foundation. It was built off history and when he says someone had to be a sacrifice? You’re thinking Martin Luther King, Malcolm X or Nelson Mandela. You’re thinking about these men that made sacrifices in their time,” Cooper said.
“Whatever’s trying to keep him down and in that place doesn’t want him to start to change anything. It wants to keep the same thing, over and over, of what’s going on,” Heard said.
Edlewis Cooper speaks at protests and rallies today preaching lessons embodied by this short film.
“Everybody’s going to be impacted differently by this movie. Everybody is going to take some particular part of it and relate to it or know somebody who might be able to relate to it. It may even open a dialogue with somebody that may be a friend of yours who is a person of color,” Cooper said.
Edlewis says after watching? The film isn’t about pointing fingers and blame.
“This is about a problem that’s pre-existing that we all need to do something about or try to find a solution for. That’s the thing,” Cooper said.
The two men behind the production, bringing pictures and words to an evolving conversation.
“He came to me with, simply, what was an idea. He came and he said ‘Ced, this is what’s on my heart. This is what I’ve experienced. This is my story, my testimony and I want to share it’,” Cooper said.
“We want to have this film for everybody to see, to actually see what’s been going on and see how it is to actually be black in America,” Heard said.
The duo, based out of Georgia, are looking to collaborate more and bring social awareness and a film-making mecca in Atlanta.