“64,000 Black and Brown women go missing every year across America.” title card from The Erasure
I had the pleasure of viewing several short films last weekend as a participant in the Black Women Film Network (BWFN) Short Film Festival. With a lineup that displayed a variety of films by Black women, the festival highlighted stories from around the world and storytelling that is too often underrepresented.
I enjoyed many of the selections, however there was one film entitled “The Erasure” that I would love to see developed into a full-length feature.
Here’s the synopsis: This thriller film is sort of like ‘The Purge’, and for one weekend out of the year Black women and girls go missing. This fictional film is inspired from a real statistic, that 64,000 Black and brown women and girls go missing in the United States every year and only a fraction of their cases are investigated. The rules for the Erasure weekend are that there cannot be any police involvement or media coverage of the missing women. In this world there is a ‘safe haven’, a neighborhood known as Fontier Hills. This year the audience goes on a journey with three Black women that live in this safe haven and shows what happens to them when The Confederate goes beyond their boundaries to capture them.
With a 13-minute running time, this film packs a punch and does much with little. Using a Purge like theme, where it is legal to kidnap Black women for one night of the year, it focuses on racial injustice, the alt-right, the magical negro, false “woke” whiteness, and microaggressions routinely faced by Blacks.
Creator and director Akeallah Blair, who created the short after a 2018 Kickstarter campaign, shared that she has, “always felt deeply about the number of missing women in America, and I wanted to do more than show up at rallies and post on social media. I made The Erasure film to highlight the nationwide discrepancy towards missing women of color.”
To drive the point home even further, the short ends with a dedication to Sheila Abdus-Salaam – an American judge and attorney who went missing in 2017 and whose body was recovered a mile from her Harlem home. Her death was ruled a suicide, however the authorities were not forthcoming with evidence used to determine the manner death, and her family and loved ones are rightfully contesting.
A thriller that sheds light on a topic which too often goes overlooked and underreported, missing Black women, “The Erasure” shocks the audience and leaves it with much to contemplate. I rate the film 4 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
Click the hyperlink here to see a trailer, and I will definitely keep you updated regarding any formal premiere/release date.
Until next thought, Thomasena