Vancouver-based director Vic Sarin turns the camera on himself in this fiercely personal exploration of colourism: discrimination based not just on race, but on the darkness of one’s skin within one’s race. Mr. Sarin returns to India, where he contemplates the profound effect his mother’s insistence he stay out of the sun – colourism, he now understands – has had on his life and relationships. The device of a family beach holiday around which the story is told feels a bit forced, but there is a powerful authenticity to his narrative, and to the stories he digs up around the world: the Tanzanian albinos who must live in a compound for protection; the black Brazilian who emerges into the spotlight from a childhood coloured by extreme poverty; the Filipino woman whose childhood bullying leads to an entrepreneurial empire – and a skin-deep transformation. “I’ll be white and I’ll show you what I can do,” she vows.
At VIFF: Oct. 1, 4:15 p.m., SFU; Oct. 11, 10 a.m., Vancity