'What am I?' has to be one of the most common questions many mixed-race individuals have
asked their parents at one time or another.
Watching the Black British film release Rage for the first time the other day I was struck by
the pain of the mixed-race lead character Rage as he struggled to make sense of a life that had
disinherited him. It was easy to dislike him as the beginning of the film, a little too cocky for
my liking. However as the details of his life and relationships slowly start to unfold I felt
continually frustrated for him. When he finally challenges his mother and asks 'What am I?'
his mother can't really find the right words and politely informs him that the only crime her
and his father were guilty of was not thinking about the children. It's obvious that she loves
her children but as many of us have found love is not always enough. 'What am I?' has to be one of
the most common questions many mixed-race individuals have asked their parents at one time or another.
The film doesn't really go down the road of trying to answer any questions regarding the subject of mixed-race
but for those of us who have learned the hard way, the solutions are obvious. Try as hard as you want to push
those questions to the back of your mind they will never go away until you find the answers.
Rage himself doesn't seem to find any answers, he does what many of us do and that is to find a way to survive
until he can. Rage searches for a career in Hip Hop and the soundtrack has some of the best underground UK
Hip Hop around. Rage is not just a film about identity, it is also about reality. I guess there was a bit too
much reality for British cinemas.
Considering it is one of the most important films to come out of the UK in a
long time Rage was never highly publicised. It has already won three awards: Best First Feature at FESPACO2001;
Best Director for Nigerian born Newton I Aduaka,Best First Feature at Pan African Film Festival Los Angeles and
Prix Jeunesse at Vue d'Afrique, Montreal.