Starring Colman Domingo, Da’Vine Randolph, Francoise Battiste, Jibreel Mawry and Darius Darby, and directed by Chinonye Chukwu ("alaskaLand"), short film "A Long Walk" is has now been released online by the filmmaker, after a successful film festival circuit tour.
The summary is as follows: "A father humiliates his son by parading him through the neighborhood in women’s clothing in front of all the other kids on a summer day. The impact of that decision ripples through his family and best friend’s lives for years to come. This story is based on true events."
The true events are borrowed from the memoir of writer Samuel Autman, who detailed his experiences in a Huffington Post article back in the fall. A few excerpts below: "Our game stopped. We all looked up to see Steve, a kid who was eight or nine years old, being pulled by the arm, out of the house by his father. Steve’s dad had caught him applying makeup and lipstick on his face. To punish him, he paraded Steve through the neighborhood wearing an oversized dress, high heels, a turban and a carrying a gigantic purse. His dad followed him with a belt dangling from his fist. "You want to be a f******* girl?" His father screamed. "I’ll make you a f******* girl!" After it was over, we, the neighborhood kids, stood in silence for a few seconds and resumed playing Nerf football. Every time I tell this story, people get stunned expressions on their faces. It’s powerful and emotionally violent. This anecdote has been published a few times online and in a print collection. Almost a year ago, Chinonye Chukwu, one of my former students, now a filmmaker, asked for permission to shoot it. The blue dress, the makeup and fiery red high heels he wore triggered all of the emotions from that day in 1977 for me. Not only were the feelings all back but they were three-dimensional characters, speaking the words as I had remembered and written. I became edgy as I watch actor Francoise Battiste, playing the father, forcibly dragging the kid down the street."
Below, find the 14-minute film in full, which was released today (for more on the film, visit its website HERE):