I think it’s been at least a week since a black film has caused some controversy; here’s this week’s addition.
I’m referring to the film Toddlers which was released on DVD in New York last month, and has stirred up a lot of anger, some even calling for a boycott.
The film, which was made entirely in Harlem and directed by Terrence Brown, is yet another one of those drugs and guns ‘n’ da hood” movies, but the gimmick is that the cast is made up of neighborhood kids, some as young as 12 years old.
Brown claims that he’s not an exploiter or glorifying violence but, you know, just “keeping it real”: “That’s what’s going on, I’m just showing it, You hear about these murders, but people don’t see how it happens. I show how these incidents happen. These are real life situations.” (But then again, isn’t that what filmmakers always say when conforonted about those kind of images in films like this? You mean there are some people on this planet who don’t know? Sounds to me like Brown is really a guy out to make a quick couple of bucks. But then that’s just me)
However, anti-gang and violence organizations are outraged by the film. Jackie Rowe-Adams who runs Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E said that the film should “be banned” and that it brought back memories of her son being killed: “All I could think about was that 13-year-old killing my son”
Iesha Sekou of Street Corner Resources in N.Y. is also upset with the film: “This is not entertainment. We don’t need to promote kids carrying guns.“
Both Sekou and Rowe-Adams are planning a boycott movement on stores that carry the DVD.
However Brown is not worried about any protests: “This is not new. It’s entertaining in the end but it’s not for everyone”.
I’m sure you’ll have your say abut this.
Below is the trailer: