Week 8: Awkward Is The New Black

Awkward Is The New Black 14mins 30secs

Issa Rae has been blazing trails with her Youtube Channel and being perfect example of how one can use the resources they have in front of them to build an empire. After spending 25 US dollars to film episode one of her hit web series Awkward black girl (which I’ve been a huge fan of since inception), she continues to take over the internet, creating content and giving young people a platform to share their film art, and most recently she’s even landed her own television sow on HBO called Insecure. With all those credentials behind her, no wonder she’s the perfect subject a documentary film. Awkward Is The New Black, directed by Dylan Valley, takes us behind the scenes of Issa life, from when she rose to success back in 2011 with Awkward Black Girl, famous for its witty commentary, relatable scenarios, and portrayal of black people in a light they’re seldom represented in. Issa found her voice and ones of many like her was lacking, tapped into that niche, and never turned back ever since. The documentary shows the people around her that made her web series come to life, her creative process and the challenges and rewards she encountered along the way. This documentary was heavily interview driven with some instances of cinema verite/direct cinema. Interviews with Rae herself, her friends and family and their stories about Issa and her rise to success was the main topic of discussion. Instances where cinema verite was present was when they would follow Issa around on her daily routine, as well as instances where they would play behind the scenes footage of her various productions, which could be considered more like archival footage. I thoroughly enjoyed the showing of the behind the scenes process because as a young teen, I would always watch her series Awkward Black Girl from inception, and to see the process of making the very first episode, I was pretty much amused and intrigued, and maybe a bit emotional to see the work that went into making a show that honestly shaped who I am today. I was also deeply inspired because watching the footage, I felt as if I grew up with Issa, as if I saw her progress and hard work from so long and to see how well she is succeeding having come from a simple web series to now preparing a pilot for television. It’s touching to see someone’s dreams come through after putting in so much time and effort. I did not particularly like how the film was shot, it looked amateur and flat and some of the music was off setting for me, but non-the less it kept my attention, mainly because I’m a huge fan and any sort of content of someone I look up to would be inspirational. Overall, the information presented satisfied me and it was great to see footage or have access to information that otherwise would not be available to me.



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