In this revealing documentary, eleven people with a range of backgrounds discuss what it is like being of mixed racial heritage within the context of North America. Each of the participants presents their unique outlook on growing up mixed and the challenges they've faced in their lives.
No two experiences are identical when speaking about their journey of how each person came to perceive themselves. Many speak of the difference between how they saw themselves versus how the world at large treated them. There are several instances of being "othered" by friends and relatives alike or how seeds of doubt were planted at childhood to disrupt their own sense of self. The interviewees voice unique concerns about acceptance, culture, and society and how even their own self-identification undergoes shifts.
What Are You shows how a seemingly simple question does not have a neat, tidy answer but rather a complex one.
INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED INTERVIEWS
FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "For years I've been asked the strange, confrontational question: 'What are you?' The question concerns my racial identity, and it unsettles me because I don't have an exact answer and because I simultaneously don't believe it matters. But it's also a question that th emore it is asked, the more it seems to matter. 'What Are You' is a short personal documentary that uses interviews to explore the lives of multiracial people (myself included) as they reveal the struggles and challenges of being of mixed racial heritage in Canada.
'What are you?' is a question I've been asked too many times to count. I think mostly it's a question that is asked out of pure curiosity without an agenda, but it immediately makes me feel as if I am some strange otherworldly oddity. It's something I've struggled with for years, and I hope this film helps other mixed people who are wrestling with that same aggravating question."
-Richard B. Pierre