From emerging filmmaker Jason Innocent comes his short film, Dissection. The short opens with the title’s definition, a “very detailed analysis of a text or idea.” His short is a simple series of interviews about what is achievable from an individual personal level for the Black American.
His short is a series of “person on the street” interviews about three themes: love, race and identity, and pride and insecurity. Director Innocent grabs poignant thoughts from his three to five subjects on each topic and lets them speak for themselves without commentary.
The topic of Love ranges from one’s desire to be in a romantic relationship to being the embodiment of love itself…unconditional love. You also understand that love is a universal experience.
“…’person on the street’ interviews about three themes: love, race and identity, and pride and insecurity.”
Race and Identity talk about being black in America. Most of his subjects express their feelings about how no other race can truly understand the struggle of blacks today. One young woman, though, speaks of finding inspiration in other black women, who took charge of their lives and found success.
Pride and insecurity jump from issues of self-confidence and the ideas of imperfect people living in a world that demands perfection; to pride as a source of dignity.
I’ll just start with the obvious. Dissection is simply a series of talking head interviews intermixed with images of the racial struggle in America since the 60s. This is the most basic and bare bones you can get with the documentary genre.
“…not designed to present the final solution, but start a conversation…”
That said, the content of the interviews is what I find most intriguing. What comes across to me is that director Innocent does not have an agenda as he stitches his interviews together. He just allows his subjects to say what on their hearts. You may connect with some statements and disagree with others.
I am neither white nor black. My entire life has been spent sitting on the sidelines, watching two warring factions go at each other with often deadly consequences. What I like about Dissection is the diversity of thought and opinion within the film and amongst individuals within this community. What I like about that is these individuals are given a chance to be heard, which is the first step to healing, and the first step to finding hope from within the chaos.
At the risk of overselling the short, the clips Innocent presents are intriguing and thought-provoking. Dissection is not designed to present the final solution, but start a conversation, and the final product is pretty standard as a documentary from a first-time filmmaker. It’s a promising start, and I’m interested in what more Jason Innocent has to offer.
Dissection (2019) Directed by Jason Innocent.
7 out of 10 stars