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Colouring the Media

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Coloring the Media begins with the premise that since the invention of the camera, Native Americans were the very first people to be documented either in photographs or in moving pictures. This film explores this journey as European Americans used the camera as a propaganda tool to depict native peoples in America as less than human. Through the development of stereotypes, and inadequate research, early films depicting native peoples set into motion a language of film that is still being used today. This language came to affect all peoples of colour around the world as they were often portrayed as ignorant or noble savages whose only good was to make the European look superior, civilized and just in their cause - which was more often than not the civilization of the savage.

By using contemporary films such as Smoke Signals; and documentaries such as Healing the Hurts and Spirit combined with interviews with Native people, Coloring the Media takes us on a journey and asks how the past can affect the present and shape the future for Native Americans and also for people of color. As Black and Asian people living in Britain speak about their experiences and the struggles they face today, we see how the language of film set into motion in the early 20th century still plays an important part in the portrayal of people of colour.
Coloring the Media offers a refreshing investigative insight into the past and present. For future generations it offers a solution of change through the voices of people, and asks one important question: 'What is it going to take to make this change happen, now, today?'


Type of film
Running Time
47 mins
Carlisle Antonio
BBC, Skillset, Millennium Commission
BBC, Skillset, Millennium Commission
Carlisle Antonio
Carlisle Antonio
Director of Photography
Mike Catherwood
Mike Catherwood, Nik Mather, Carlisle Antonio
John Trudell, Peter Buffet
Principal Cast
Several contributors