I wanted to include an editor’s pick so y’all, our beautiful viewers, can get to know us, your amazing editors. I also wanted to showcase our TV/Film/Theater picks because although it may feel like all you see are white stories or stories of the oppressor, our stories have been here for a while and are extremely diverse and expand over all genres. There is not one specific way to tell our stories and we deserve to be seen and heard. So here is a list of TV/Film/Theater made by beautiful BIPOC/multicultural/multiethnic artists to expand your mind, start a conversation, or even spark something in your soul. Each editors’ picks will be focused around a specific theme, this month’s theme is family.
— Maya Renee Castro (TV/Film/Theater Editor)
Maya Renee Castro (TV/Film/Theater Editor)
Film: Eve’s Bayou Dir. Kasi Lemmons (1997)
Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
This one’s for your inner child
Eve’s Bayou is a drama written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, a long time Hollywood actress. This film is marked as her directorial debut. This film tells the story of ten year old Eve Batiste, and everything her family had to deal with in the summer of 1962. When little Eve sees her dad doing something he isn’t supposed to, she’s not sure if she should keep it a secret, or share it with her family. As the film unfolds, Eve starts to notice what’s wrong with her family. She can’t help but confront things in her young way, especially after her mother locks her and her siblings in the house for the summer, after mystical Aunt Mozelle has a vision. Tensions, secrets, and unwanted hatred builds, making this a summer the Batiste family will never forget.
Not only does this film have beautiful visuals and important themes ( i.e. sibling jealousy, childhood trauma, and breaking ancestral curses), it shines a light on the role of the storyteller in a black family. Eve is the storyteller in the Batiste family. Her role is to take the story and truth of her and her family’s life and release them into the world. To constantly strive to confront, dismantle or talk through how to live with the traumas of her family. However, as some of us have learned while growing up, our family don’t want to talk about what’s going on. They would rather we just shut up and keep moving forward. This film shows that telling our stories is important, no matter how messed up they may be. It shows us it’s okay to talk. We deserve to dig into our family trauma and unpack our past in any way. Kasi Lemmons has stated before that Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” really influenced her to make Eve’s Bayou. You can tell not only in visuals and the mysticism, but in the way family is portrayed. She has also stated that this film was a way for her to understand some of the things that went on in her early childhood. This film may leave you feeling cathartic, or some type of heaviness, because you can really feel the honesty behind the soul and pain, but it is worth the watch. I would recommend watching it on a rainy night with a nice glass of wine (or maybe a whole bottle…)
Stephanie Eyocko (Food Editor)
Film: Black Panther (2018) Dir. Ryan Coogler (2018)
Where to watch: Disney Plus or Amazon Prime
I, like many Black people, have been mourning the past months. I’ve been grieving the killings of unarmed Black people and also the losses of great talents who have inspired a generation of Black creatives like Earl Cameron, Betty Wright, Mel Winker, Jimmy Cobb, and most recently, Chadwick Boseman. As we collectively cry out in grief, it’s important to relish in visuals that inspire. Black Panther does that for me. Black Panther, co-written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, gave us a Black superhero family and talents beyond compare. It tells the story of T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, whose kingdom is in danger when Killmonger, the villain, threatens his kingdomship and livelihood of his people. T’Challa must rally his allies and harness the powers of the Black Panther to fight his enemy and save Wakanda from destruction.
Joana Meurkens (Artistic Director/ Music & Art Editor)
TV Show: Master of None, Episode S2 E8 “Thanksgiving” Dir. Melina Matsoukas (2017)
Where to watch: Netflix
This episode of Master of None highlights the intricacies of the immediate family and the beauty within the chosen family. This episode moves through time to showcase Denise’s (Lena Waithe) family dynamic and her relationship to her own queer identity within her family. Lena Waithe is now a TV giant, and this episode proves how talented she is not only as a writer and producer, but as an actress as well. The cast is filled with black power houses including Angela fucking BASSET and Kym Whitley. Do yourself a favor and watch this 34 minute episode of goodness.
Carolina Meurkens (Editor-in-Chief, Health/Sex/ Wellness Editor, Prose Editor)
Film: The Second Mother (Que Horas Ela Volta?) Dir. Anna Muylaert (2015)
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
This Brazilian film directed by Anna Muylaert tells the story of Val, a live-in housekeeper/ nanny who’s been working for the same family in a wealthy suburb of São Paulo for close to eighteen years. She is like a second mother to Fabinho who is now a young adult, but meanwhile she hasn’t seen her own daughter Jessica for almost a decade. The Second Mother shows the sacrifices that many domestic workers make in order to provide for their own families, while taking care of another one. When Val’s daughter Jessica comes to live with her in São Paulo, Jessica breaks rules of how the help is supposed to behave and criticizes her mom for allowing herself to be treated like a second class citizen. While there are some funny moments throughout the film, it’s ultimately heavy to witness how classism affects the lives of families, how privileged families suffer from lack of emotional connection and how working class people must sacrifice precious family time to make ends meet. The film does have a feel good, heartwarming feeling to it, especially as Jessica and Val’s relationship begins to mend itself and Val comes to realize what is really important to her.
Citrine Ghraowi (Politics Editor)
TV Show: Ramy Season 2 Episode 8: “Frank in the Future” Dir. Ramy Youssef (2020)
Where to watch: Hulu
This episode of Ramy really put me in my feels for various reasons that I could go on about for hours. It’s centered around his father’s character, Farouk, and his seemingly endless struggles as an Arab immigrant living in the United States. Every scene reminded me of stories my parents told me about after they journeyed to this country as twenty somethings. I’ve always known what it’s like being born here and feeling so far removed from the homeland, but sometimes things, such as this episode, really put things in perspective of the hardships my parents had starting a new life in a country so foreign from what they once called home. I highly suggest everyone watch not only this episode, but the entirety of the show’s two seasons. You’ll thank me later.
Tayo Omisore (Poetry Editor)
TV Show/Play: Kim’s Convenience Dir. Ins Choi
Where to watch: Netflix, CBC (if you live in Canada)
I am a man of simple pleasures, I often lie. But one of my favorite ways to create joy in my increasingly small bubble is watching family sitcoms. I think a lot of what inspired me to become a writer was watching ABC Family and Nick at Nite when I was growing up. There’s an immediate comfort I find, and I felt that same feeling of distant nostalgia and safety watching the Canadian family sitcom ‘Kim’s Convenience’. The story centers on the Kim family— Mr. Kim (or “Appa,” meaning father in Korean), played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee; Mrs. Kim (or “Umma,” meaning mother in Korean), played by Jean Yoon; and their two grown children, Jung and Janet, played by Simu Liu (yes, I was hip to Shang Li but alllll of ya’ll) and Andrea Bang. If there’s only one thing I can say to pitch this show specifically to our wonderful Mixed Mag community it’s this: Kim’s Convenience is a play turned into a sit-com featuring the first all-Asian lead cast in Canadian television history. It focuses on universal archetypes that we can all relate to (especially first generation immigrants like myself 🙂 ) while also never white washing the influence of the family’s Korean heritage or resorting to stereotypes. The world sucks right now, take care of yourself and put this on for an hour or 2.
Kimber Monroe (Co-Founder/Director of Operations):
TV Show: Blackish
Where to watch: Hulu
This Freeform sitcom focuses on an affluent Black family in Los Angeles. Andre and Rainbow Johnson (played by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross) have it all; the big house, successful careers and four children. However, on top of dealing with the little day to day personal issues, this family is also dealing with what it is to be Black and successful in modern-day America. The show touches on socio-economical issues in an informative and heartfelt way, as well as re-educating Black American history to millions across the country and world. This show is hilarious, heartwarming and more than occasionally, a tear-jerker. And also, JENIFER LEWIS. Watch for Jenifer Lewis, please and thank you.
Gina-Sophia Zamudio (Social Media Manager)
Movie: I’m No Longer Here (Spanish: Ya no estoy aquí) Dir. Fernando Frias (2019)
Where to watch: Netflix
“I’m No Longer Here” is a 2019 Mexican film written and directed by Fernando Frías de la Parra. The film focuses on a modern teenage friend group in the northern Mexico city of Monterrey who are obsessed with the alternative Cumbia Rebajada (chopped and screwed Cumbia) music subculture and spend their days singing, dancing and enjoying their youth. They call their crew los Terkos and are led by a teen named Ulises. After a conflict with a local cartel, Ulises is forced to migrate to the U.S. but quickly longs to return home. The film begins with him saying goodbye to his street family and friends in a daze before being driven away. Soon, Ulises finds himself in the bustling city of Queens, New York, working as a day laborer. At home he felt comfortable and connected to his environment, here, he’s isolated. Not knowing how to speak English yet, Ulises tries to befriend his Latino coworkers but they end up ridiculing him for his looks, accent, and taste in music, which are crucial to his identity. Constantly around people in the U.S., he still feels alone and dreams about the day he can safely return to his chosen family. Throughout the movie he undergoes major, life-changing events, but the parts of “I’m No Longer Here” that drew me in the most were the small moments and details of his coming of age. Beautifully shot with colorful visuals and hazy recollections of Ulises’ past, the film paints a visceral image of young life in flux. A must see.