Filmmaker | Winnipeg | 1963 - 2011

Grey on This Side, Black on the Other

Grey on This Side, Black on the Other

9:00 | 1990 | DRAMA

A short promo for Moxam’s yet-to-be-completed feature film since retitled When I Grow Too Old to Dream – explicitly takes up the issue of racism in Canada. In a voiceover that introduces the film, Moxam describes the tragic circumstances of a black woman, Marlene Gardner, who has just been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Canada for murdering her husband (which, the voiceover informs us, was an act of self-defence). He stresses how the judgment of the court is based on racial prejudice, and he goes on to note how the family itself is torn apart by the effects of racism in Canada.  After a series of shots representing the social discrimination against blacks drawn from the archives and television news, the film shifts into a claustrophobic study of the breakdown of communication between Marlene’s sister and her mother regarding Marlene’s innocence. Caught in her own cycle of prejudice masked as traditional family values, Marlene’s mother refuses to acknowledge the reality of domestic abuse against women.

- Scott Birdwise (from No Man Can Define Me: The Films of Winston Washington Moxam)