Bound: Africans vs African-Americans is a Controversial and illuminating new documentary from Kenyan-born director and actor, Peres Owino and produced by Isaiah Washington. The documentary uses testimonials to expose the seldom-discussed ways that Africans and African Americans view each other, and looks at the cultures’ shared history to foster mutual understanding.
Encouraging that interaction can be challenging says Owino, an actor and filmmaker originally from Kenya who moved to the U.S. in 1995. She now lives in Los Angeles, where she’s noticed a lack of contact between African immigrants and African Americans.
“I didn’t know any of my neighbors,” she recalls, “and I’m sitting there and thinking: ‘What is this? What is this fear?”
Owino decided to explore that fear by interviewing people from both backgrounds, as well as facilitating on-camera conversations between the two groups.
The results, now in the film alongside history lessons and performance art, are intense. Topics range from the fear some African immigrants have of African Americans based on media stereotypes to misconceptions about contemporary life in Africa and discussions regarding a “black identity” that can include all Americans from the African Diaspora.
These are challenging conversations but ones people are eager to have, says Owino, who jokes that she only had to present the topic and then “people would talk for three hours.”
Bound will be premiering at the African Diaspora International Film Festival in NYC Nov 28th-Dec 14th. Keep it locked for more updates as they develop.