Q: Is it true the Republican National Committee financed your film?
A: No, This Movie has been completely financed and now distributed by Kevin and Tamara Williams. In the true spirit of “Guerilla Filmmaking,” this film is our and ours alone. And we have all the bills and traffic tickets to prove it. Actually, we tried to find a Producer and Executive Producer, but no one we found would help us make a film that wasn’t propaganda or “agit-prop” for either Party’s benefit.
That kind of sucked, but we did have all the artistic freedom that we ever wanted. A non-partisan film about Black Republicans and the Two-Party System in Urban America… that should have been an easy sell, right?
Q: Are you trying to convert African Americans to become Republican?
A: No. But since we live in an African American dominated city, we do think that we need BOTH the Democratic and Republican Parties working and competing with each other to make cities and Urban areas like Trenton, NJ (where we live) better places to live. Other parties are good too, but the two biggies really run the show at this point. Most importantly, we need African Americans to push this for themselves and ultimately, us. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for urban areas and cities like Trenton to improve.
to maintain the institutional and generational poverty in our cities and urban environments everyday through their taxes. Plus, you’ll get a glimpse as to why the GOP Conventions look like the Winter Olympics, without the cool costumes… and you’ll maybe get an idea of who benefits from all that. One surprising hint… it ain’t the suburbs.
Q: Aren’t there hundreds of documentaries about Black Republicans?. Why should I see your film?
A: Well, to our knowledge there hasn’t even been one documentary about Black Republicans shown on the U.S. film festival circuit. Let alone getting theatrical distribution, being stolen and uploaded to Bit Torrent, available at your local video store or on pay cable. Or on Video On-Demand. Hmmm…
Our film offers great entertainment, value for your dollar, political intrigue, racial controversy, a cast of characters of the size that hasn't been seen since BEN-HUR and a world that you will likely never visit again, at least with a sane filmmaker holding the camera. But it will still be the feel good movie of the summer.
Q. Your movie is over 90 minutes. A documentary over 90 minutes… what are you nuts? Don't you know "the rules"?
A: Maybe, but it’s pretty hard being the first movie on a topic. There isn’t a base of experience for the average movie viewer or the average filmmaker to build on. So as filmmakers, we wanted to tell as complete a story as possible. And with over 100 hours of footage to work with, we think we did.
When you’re covering a topic like this and what you thought would be a little film on local politics grows into a film on national politics and includes a Presidential Inauguration, a Congressional campaign, Hurricane Katrina… and folks like Professor Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Authors Ann Coulter and Michele Malkin, former U.S. Senator Edward Brooke, Christine Todd Whitman, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, former Republican National Committee Chairmen Ken Mehlman and Michael Steele… even Richard Nixon and Jackie Robinson. So, we have a lot to show people. (And edit from. Our original rough cut was over five hours. You should see what we cut!)
Q. Why are White filmmakers making this film?
A: Funny you should ask. We had a White Female Producer from Brooklyn ask us the same thing. We made this film because we felt it was an important film topic that no one else had previously covered, outside of short news reports. We were bolstered in our position when many of the African Americans we interviewed, thanked us for taking this on. Living in Trenton, NJ, we were civically-active in our community long before we became politically-active, and then deciding to make this film.
To have so many people, from both sides of the aisle, encourage us to make and complete the film really inspired us. Particularly, during some of the tough times that came with making and editing a documentary like this. As long as these folks and the challenges facing Urban America are relevant, we think FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN will be relevant.
Q: How did you come up with the movie's title, FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN?
A: The title of our film is a nod to the great rap group from the 1980s and 90s, PUBLIC ENEMY. Their music was very powerful as they used political ideals, urban stories and tell it like it is perspective to form their sound and lyrics. While quite controversial during this time period, P.E. never backed down from what they believed, right or wrong. You don’t have to agree with them 100% to enjoy and be moved by their music.
Being politically-conscious artists as much as U2, if not more so, P.E. did much to bring Urban issues to light in a time when the media exploited Urban Americans and the nation’s attention was elsewhere. Public Enemy’s seminal album, FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET, is one which stands the test of time and still has a lot of truth cutting through each song. Whether Chuck D., Flavor Flav, Terminator X or the other members approve or not, we tip our hat to them and thank them for bringing Urban Issues to the forefront. Hopefully, our film will do some of that, too. And in case you are wondering - yes, we did want to use a P.E. tune, “Yo! Bum Rush The Show!” in the movie, but there wasn’t enough change under the couch cushions or in our piggy bank this time.
Q. We now have an African American President named Barack Obama. Didn’t you guys get the memo? How is your film even relevant anymore
A: We did get the memo and the one on America being “post-racial.” However, none of this is addressing the serious and pressing concerns of African American dominated Urban communities across America. Nor is it addressing issues of the Republican Party ignoring us and our communities. We were hopeful with the Chairmanship of Michael Steele... However, change can be very tough. Once again, the state and local parties will need to get on board for real changes to be made.
Change doesn't happen overnight or even in one election, or two. While the U.S. is moving forward socially, politically...