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University alumna delves into American race relations in her short film "Descry"

Thursday, December 8, 2016

'Descry'The idea for University alumna Jenna Bleecker’s new short film, “Descry," first sprouted during her time at Kansas while working on one of her favorite plays — "Dutchman."

Bleecker, a 2008 graduate, co-wrote and co-produced the nine-minute short film, "Descry" which was sparked by "Dutchman," which takes places in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. Bleecker's film, though, takes a more modern look at race relations.

"Descry," currently making its way through the North American film festival circuit, is a modern look into race relations that takes place only in a diner.

"Dutchman," written by Amiri Baraka, is an older film that raises questions relevant to Bleecker's film today.

“'Dutchman' [the play] dealt with just white and black race relations but we decided to make it more modern and bring other races into play, which, I believe, is more representative of our society today, Bleecker said.

Bleecker's film will soon be released online and eventually screened publicly come summer. The film was developed by Isotropic Films and stars Bleecker herself.

The nine-minute short is seen through the eyes of a lone black man bombarded with racist comments by various customers of many races in the diner, including a Mexican man and a white woman played by Bleecker.

“I wanted to be a part of a quality project that really had something important to say and made people think, and I was sick of waiting around to be cast in something that fit that bill," Bleecker said. "So I decided to make it myself.”  Read more

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