At full disclosure, I went to college with filmmaker Sean Weiner. He even filmed, directed and edited a video for a Stolen Music Imprint posse cut. He finished it and we got a copy, but it never saw the light of day for a lot of forgotten reasons (It was well over a decade ago). It looked dope, but I remember hating my verse.
The short documentary film, 11.15.91 is about Weiner dealing with race, identity, and becoming what you are, instead of what you wanted to be. When Weiner was growing up in suburbia Rhode Island, he thought he was white. He is of mixed race, but among his brother and mother, he was the only one who’s physical features made that fact evident. As kids, people assumed Weiner and his brother were twins until they got older and the straightness of their hair started to differentiate. Weiner had kinky brown hair like a black afro, while his brother’s hair, although curly, resembled what Weiner called a “Jew-fro”. Weiner and his brother had the same parents, but people figured otherwise. His mother was a white French woman from Senegal, Africa, and his father was a white American of Jewish ancestry.
From the beginning I kept asking, “Is he gonna go for it?” My attention was totally investing in watching this flick. The only thing that left me unfilled, was wanting to know more about his mother’s upbringing. She shares an interesting story about going to a market place with her uncle, but that’s the only sort of visual you get from Weiner’s African ancestry. May be her story is part of a longer film in the works.
Please visit Conflux Magazine to watch the film, 11.15.91.Tags:documentary, film, identity, independent, personal essay, race, rhode island, sean weiner