Post-9/11, it can’t be easy being a brown, bearded, man at the airport, on public transportation, or even just, in public. Raj Bains has written about this from his experience in the essay “Attention World: Not All Brown Men With Beards Are Terrorists” and Taimour Fazlani too, in “Beards: Applause for You, Stigmatisation for Me.” Basically, brown men with beards are viewed by too many as potential or actual terrorists, the way that the white-haired white lady on the plane looks at (a lacking in facial hair!) Kumar as a bad stereotype of a terrorist in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay:
The Visit, an 11-minute short film by writer/producer/actor Vishwas, takes on that brown, bearded man stereotype and does something a little unexpected with it. How might someone who’s usually the victim of that kind of stereotyping flip things around and use it to fight back? Watch the thought-provoking short film to find out. After being screened at 12 film festivals and winning four awards, including the recent Indie Works Best of Fest Audience Choice Award, The Visit is now available on Vimeo, and embedded below (please note it’s rated Mature for profanity).
If you’d like to see more work by Vishwas, he’s playing a vampire in Richa Rudola’s South Asian vampire flick Taaza Khoon (Fresh Blood), screening this Sunday at Toronto’s International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA). Through May 21 in Washington, D.C., he’s also appearing in Forgotten Kingdoms, a play set on a small island in Indonesia.
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