‘An American Childhood’ tells the story of a young boy who finds himself in a delicate position. He comes from a loving and fun family, where, as we can see in some parts of this movie, everything goes normal. The boy is named Collin, and he is the son of a policeman, a job that seems to be among the hardest and riskiest in the United States at the time. Collin is on his iPad scrolling through videos of his family from different occasions, showing the viewer the calm and the good nature of this family. But one day everything changes.
Ryan Alan Petti's film has a very good educational background, and it seemed to us that it was made for this sole purpose for some very important reasons. First of all, when Collin receives the bad news, neither he nor his mother are crying. Though a very sad situation is depicted, all of the people involved are somehow relieved based on their facial expressions. Another one could be the positive ending, where Collin takes over the church’s film-projector and shares with the whole ‘mournful’ crowd some uplifting videos to make the whole situation a little bit less sad, but still, there is a high dose of superficiality in the acting part that even this abnormal situation isn’t able to change the facial expressions of the people in the crowd.
What we liked the most about this short film was the main actor, Elohim NycaLove, the kid around whom the whole action revolves. The issues of ‘racial profiling and discrimination’ stated in the plot overview are presented for less than twenty seconds, and from our point of view, are not at all explored in a way that many of the viewers will understand them without reading the plot overview first.
Nevertheless, ‘An American Childhood’ is a good study case for schools in English speaking countries to make the kids aware of how bad racial discrimination and profiling is.
Written by Vlad A. G