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  • Writer's pictureK/XI


Last week Sunday I went to watch Ava DuVernay's new movie Origin. She's a director that I need to be prepared for, because she often delivers utter devastation.

The biographical film tells the story of writer, Isabel Wilkerson, played by Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, as she writes the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which was published shortly after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. The film also stars John Bernthal, who seems to always manage to play the role of devoted husband really well. There was a surprise appearance from Victoria Pedretti too, which I loved.

The film focuses on ideas I have held since I was a child. The caste system is a major thing in Pakistan. Going there every summer as a child, I was told in whispers not to socialise with certain people. This is a huge thing when it comes to marriages and people interacting with each other. Race is just the general term we have given for all issues to do with inequality based on communities and colour. I have often thought that people would be unable to live peacefully in large communities, as someone will always want to rule over another being or smaller community unfortunately.

The film explores the power struggles within the caste system and with communities different to our own, and how these come about. It's a fascinating insight and a valuable one. Although it may leave one feeling hopeless because it highlights how complex the issues at hand are, I hope it allows people to feel empowered to do good in their own small communities to work towards self love and peace. I'm sure the book is filled with so much detail, but if it's not something you're willing to invest lots of reading hours into, then please do check this vital film out as a shortcut into this research.


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