Ear for Eye
Split into three parts, Debbie Tucker Green’s Ear for Eye – an adaptation of her play of the same name – is powerful, visually addictive, and extremely thought-provoking. A whirlwind of debate and information, it covers the multifaceted presence of racism, wrapped in both theatric and cinematic techniques. The first part focuses on discussions and effects of prejudice within the Black community, going over ideas such as the discrepancy between older and younger generations and the contrast in their approaches, from complacency and assimilation to protest and revolution. The second section covers the reality of speaking up against systemic powers amid the injustices and inequality for Black people. The production rounds off with a final chapter dedicated to the laws of segregation.
Filled with plenty of insightful discussions, Ear for Eye features various memorable quotations that summarise the experience of being Black, from “You shouldn’t have to be unshakeable son, but you do” to “Specifics matter, you and your personal issues don’t”. These two statements aptly represent the contrast in the first two parts of the film, the former gathering strength in the community, and the latter representing ever-present cultural racism. Further, there is plenty of consideration given to harmful stereotypes, performative activism, and the difference between progress and change. These topics are explored through fast speech and dialogue, exaggerated hand gestures, and ample wit and sarcasm in unexpected places.
Perfectly titled, Ear for Eye could arguably be enjoyed simply as an audio event, but that’s not to say that that the visuals are lacking – in fact, there’s plenty to appreciate here. The quick edits really make use of the genre, exploiting the lack of limits imposed by a normal stage setting. That said, the result still takes its cues from theatre, using lights to create colour filters, and relying on props for atmosphere and weather effects, with static audio to emulate the stage echo. The combination of these two worlds truly elevates the nuance of the source material.
Ear for Eye does not have a UK release date yet.
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