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Friday, July 19, 2024

Being Black in Halifax: Mum

Kimber Wesley's Mum screens as part of the Being Black series of shorts at the 2024 Halifax Black Film Festival.

Returning to the Halifax Black Film Festival, the latest cohort of young filmmakers aged 18-30 from across Canada created short documentaries addressing the issues that impact Black communities. Among them are four local filmmakers who share their stories about what it means to them to be Black and living in Halifax.

In this Q&A, we learn more about their film Mum from Halifax filmmaker Kimber Wesley. Wesley’s film screens with other film shorts in the Being Black series from Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa filmmakers on February 24 at Cineplex Park Lane (5657 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax). Visit halifaxblackfilm.com for tickets and information.

This interview has been edited.

Tell us about Mum. What can audiences expect?

My film Mum is about me looking back on my childhood and reflecting on how hard it was being in foster care. I became pregnant in my early 20s, which is when I started to realize how dysfunctional my childhood was. It took a lot of strength for me to be so vulnerable in the film, but I hope the audience finds it inspirational after watching it.

What was your inspiration for the film?

Halifax filmmaker Kimber Wesley (above) looks back on her childhood and reflects on how hard it was being in foster care in her new short, Mum.
Halifax filmmaker Kimber Wesley (above) reflects on her childhood and how hard it was being in foster care in her new short, Mum.

My mentor, Sobaz Benjamin, introduced me to his idea called “Kintsugi monologue,” which brings broken pieces back together, making something more beautiful. With storytelling and film helping my healing process, I’ve realized that just because I’ve experienced trauma in my past, it doesn’t have to determine my future.

Why this particular film now?

Last year, the Being Black in Halifax series was all male. This year, it is all female, so I was very grateful to have this opportunity to share my film this year.

What was your biggest challenge in making the film?

It took a while for me to process my emotions and to dig deep into memories I’ve tried not to think about. With a time limit on the short film, it was hard to pick and edit the important parts. There were a lot of details left out to ensure it didn’t exceed the time limit.

What will surprise audiences about your film?

There is a plot twist with a trigger warning during the film, but fortunately, there is a happy ending so that people may go through a rollercoaster of emotions.

What do you hope audiences walk away talking or thinking about after seeing the film?

I hope it will inspire other mothers. Specifically, women who have gone through being in foster care or even just general childhood trauma. It’s not talked about enough how hard it can be to become a parent after not having good parental support and guidance, so I hope some may feel like they aren’t alone.

What’s next for Kimber Wesley?

I’m hoping to create a series of other mothers coming forward with their stories on what it’s like to become a mother after going through childhood trauma. Parenthood is a journey with many ups and downs, but it’s a little different when you don’t come from a stable home and don’t have parents to look up to. Also, if there are any questions from any viewers, I don’t mind answering them. I may even make a longer film with more details. What I’ve gone through as a child was pretty intense, so I didn’t want to traumatize the audience in 10 minutes during the festival.

Mum screens as part of the Being Black series from Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa filmmakers on February 24 at Cineplex Park Lane (5657 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax). Visit halifaxblackfilm.com for tickets and information.

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