Coffee Colored Children

Director: Ngozi A. Onwurah
Country: Nigeria
Year: 1988
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: English

This lyrical, unsettling film conveys the experience of children of mixed racial heritage. After suffering the aggression of racial harassment, a young girl and her brother attempt to wash their skin white with scouring powder. Starkly emotional and visually compelling, this semi-autobiographical testimony to the profound internalized effects of racism and the struggle for self-definition and pride is a powerful catalyst for discussion.

About the Director

Ngozi Onwurah

Biography: Ngozi Onwurah was born in 1966 in Nigeria to a Nigerian father, and a white British mother, Madge Onwurah. As a child, Onwurah’s mother was forced to flee with her children from Nigeria in order to escape a Civil War. They fled to England, where Ngozi and her brother Simon spent the majority of their childhood. During their youth, they endured much racial discrimination, which influenced many of her films. Onwurah, studied at St. Martin’s School of Art and the National Film and Television School. She has been directing her own films since 1988, starting with Coffee Colored Children and Best Wishes. She has also written several of the films she directs, including Hang Time. She has directed a number of challenging short films, often foregrounding issues important to black women. Her first feature film, Welcome II the Terrordome, won first prize at the Birmingham International Film Festival, the Cologne Film Festival and the Audience Prize at the Verona Film Festival. Her most recent film, Shoot the Messenger, was produced in 2006.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Hang Time (2002);
Shoot the Messenger (2008, 2009);
Monday’s Girls (1994).

Filmography: 
Coffee Colored Children
(1988);
South of the Border
(1988);
Best Wishes
(1989);
Fruits of Fear
(1990);
The Body Beautiful
(1991);
Who Stole the Soul?
(1992);
And Still I Rise
(1993);
Flight of the Swan
(1993);
Monday’s Girls
(1993);
Welcome II the Terrordome
(1995);
The Desired Number
(1995);
Heartbeat
(1995);
Siren Spirits
(1995);
I Bring You Frankincense
(1996);
White Men Are Cracking Up
(1996);
Behind the Mask
(1997);
Hang Time
(2001);
Shoot the Messenger
(2006).