Racism has been with us for time immemorial. Can a racist ever be reformed? Can “Colorblind” convince you one way or the other.
Canadian director Mostafa Keshvari has impressed me with his “Corona” (2020) and “Unmasked” (2018) both of which are seared with intense and emotionally charged dialogue and themes. “Colorblind” represents a sudden tack steering the Keshvari ship in a sea of calmer waters but as we are aware icebergs have a danger lurking below the water.
Magdalene and Monet are black mother and child that move into a neighbourhood where Magdalene and her late husband once lived. Magdalene is an artist and as with Monet they are both colorblind unlike the constant stream of racist behaviour strewn upon them by the white community they live in.
They move into their new apartment and retired firefighter and their landlord Walton heap “polite abuse” on them. The police have a somewhat polite Canadian crackerism to them but crackers they are. Perhaps they even are purveyors of manslaughter?
Magdalene is arrested somewhat brutally and negligently by the police and retired firefighter Walton becomes minder for Monet. Does his memory of a black intoxicated driver that killed his wife explain his racism? Does his guilt over a fatal fire and a sobering realization of the injustice of Magdalene’s arrest humanize the bitter and resentful Walton?
In “Corona” and “Unmasked” the viewer watches the characters rage and roil but in “Colorblind” the viewer may rage against racism.
Keshvari has accomplished his mission here with a fine film but in a far demurer way than in “Corona” and “Unmasked”. There is nothing wrong with the acting aside from poor performances by some lesser characters. Garry Chalk as Walton leads the way as a cranky, lonely, bitter racist who just may start believing human lives matter more than that of his pet turtle.
RKS Film Rating 90/100.
Gravitas Ventures releases “Colorblind” on 4April2023 on digital platforms.
You may watch the trailer here https://vimeo.com/702203274/d9ea10f2f5