The sci-fi short film WHITE is set in the near future where global warming has caused a drastic, permanent rise in temperatures worldwide.
Seasons have become a memory as the entire world scorches beneath a sun reigning over a never-ending summer.
The short opens in New York City during Christmas with average temperatures starting at 120 degrees during the day.
Enter Bato (Elvis Nolasco), a ebullient Afro-Latinx man preparing for the eminent birth of his child.
When his wife Gina (Zabryna Guevara) suffers a serious complication with her pregnancy, Bato is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice to ensure his wife receives the emergency medical care she needs.
He decides to sell the now much coveted melanin in his skin.
Melanin which will be used to formulate an advanced form of sunscreen for privileged "melanin-challenged" citizens.
It poses challenging questions surrounding ethnicity, race, class, identity, and the continued exploitation of the marginalized - while also aptly managing to deliver a prescient environmental message.
While the short was released in 2011 - which predates the inception of this site - its provocative themes remain even more starkly relevant now, given the current political and social climate in this country.
As a African-American man, watching Bato's predicament was like getting an emotional gut-punch. Being Black in America entails grappling with this country's brutal legacy of exploitation and dehumanization which began with chattel slavery.
Seeing a person of color being forced to give up the very thing uniquely intrinsic to us in order to promote white comfort and survival is affecting on a level words can not adequately express.
Though produced several years earlier, Clarke's harsh, dystopian vision would give any episode of Black Mirror a run for its money in terms of dramatic resonance.
WHITE is a brilliant example of how science fiction can be used to provide unflinching, scathing commentary on current issues impacting our society and culture.
Watch the short in its entirety here...
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