Son Rise, Son Shine
A black man struggles to find his place in the world after not meeting society’s expectations.
Son Rise, Son Shine is a short film about the real-life journey of Gerald, a black, gay man, as he interacts with himself and the world from ages 6 to 40. Throughout the film, his 9-year-old self is acting as his inner bully, always telling him the way he is doesn’t meet what he should be as a black man. That he isn’t good enough. That no one loves him. Through his different ages, we see Gerald struggle, but eventually finally find peace with who he is and his place in the world.
This film is a special one for me. I was asked to help bring this to life for the real Gerald's 40th birthday. He had just been promoted to the President of LA Pride and wanted a short documentary about his life for his upcoming milestone party.
In my interviews with him toward the beginning, I noticed that people knew his accomplishments, but it seemed that no one really knew him. This film was created to allow others to see him beyond his resume. To see what he had to rise above. To see the choices he had to make about what he decided to tell himself about his place in the world. To see what it really took to become a full black, gay man in today's world who is proud and at peace with himself.
~Sasha Marie Speer