Director Bill Duke Makes Movie About 'Dark Girls'

Shevry Lassiter | 1/13/2012, 12:18 p.m.

WI: Are there any males in the documentary?

Duke: No, it's called Dark Girls.

WI: But it affects all of us.

Duke: Our focus is dark girls.

WI: What has surprised you most in this documentary?

Duke: Until we started making this documentary, we weren't examining our own perspectives in terms of this issue so it has been a very self-evolving experience. We heard stories that were very painful and shocking to us. One young lady hears her mother say about her to her mother's friend "she has such beautiful cheekbones, eyes and lips can you imagine how pretty she would be if she had a little lightness to her skin?" She's not meaning her daughter any harm. That's just her value system.

WI: Have you talked to those that told their stories to see what effect the documentary has had on them now?

Duke: Yes, and they say thank you for giving us a voice. These are not issues that people talk about. And because they keep it in, it hurts.

WI: What has been the most rewarding experience while showing the documentary?

Duke: For us it has been the reaction of the women, coming up after viewing the film, bringing their daughters and telling us they're so glad they she saw this.

Dark Girl premiers at the Warner Theater in Northwest on Jan. 20.