The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being

The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Faisel Aziz tackles a topic that many people won’t even be aware of in this interesting documentary – the rising trend of Asian skin-lightening. Talking to a couple selling ‘all natural’ products that promise to make skin look whiter and a host of Asians whose attitudes vary from the converted to those who view it as a worrying development, it is revealing as well as slightly depressing.

The couple are “selling the dream” says one person, while another explains that in many Asian countries the more Caucasian a woman looks, the easier it is to find a husband. As a cultural phenomenon it seems to run deep, with one of those questioned even revealing they had been encouraged to “drink a lot of milk” as a child in the hopes this would result in a fairer complexion.

Aziz handles this complicated subject well. There are plenty of facts on display and the argument is balanced with plenty of people speaking for and against. Refreshingly, there is no attempt to demonise the couple who make their living from this sort of product, just an exploration of the phenomenon.

The only thing that might have rounded it out slightly more, would have been a sentence or two from an ‘expert’ either discussing the psychology behind the trend or, perhaps, the healthcare implications, if they exist. Still, Aziz covers a commendable amount of ground in the brief 10 minute runtime and shows plenty of potential as a documentarian.

Reviewed on: 18 Aug 2007
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A look at the growing trend of Asian skin-whitening. Showing as part of Bridging The Gap and the Short Scottish Documentary Awards at EIFF 2007.

Director: Faisel Aziz

Year: 2007

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2007

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