Echoes of children’s laughter fade in and out. Dark and out of focus shots of children spinning on a merry-go-round fill the screen. Suspenseful music slowly crescendos. Voiceovers of a brown man, white woman, and their son whisper to each other in French, fearing the others around them are watching. They are. As we see more shots of this family at an amusement park, we hear the menacing whispers of others around them:
Dirty, Monster, Impure…
Mixed races, Impure…
Directed by Valentin Noujaïm, The Blue Star tells the story of a multiracial family. Seemingly set in the mid-1900s, we witness glimpses of this family’s life as if through old reels, black static crackling over each scene. Although we see the family playing together in their backyard, the French and Arabic voiceovers of the family harbor fear. In this point in history, a brown man and a white woman shouldn’t get married and have children. If they do, they are disgraced. They become monsters.
Elements of fantasy mix well with our stark reality in this short film. One night, a Blue Star speaks to the man, promising a utopia where each person is free to speak their own language and be as they are. We see the neon blue of the star, somewhat like the moon, hovering in outer space as its deep voice says, “You won’t be scared anymore.” As if seen through a blue-colored lens, the Blue Star shows us this new utopia of ancient stone buildings and structures. Hooked, the man begins working on a way to contact the Blue Star, hungry for a world where his family and others can live in peace, free from racism and discrimination. Like this reviewer, you might find yourself hoping for peace alongside him.
Annie Melza Tiburoe
Raoul Abassi Tiburoe
Directed by: Valentin Noujaïm
Produced by: Orane Gibier and Jowe Harfouche
About the Author: Annabelle Harsch
Annabelle has perpetual graphite smears on her hands from stories she wrote. She’s written about secrets and regret, but her favorite things to write about are love and dragons, good or bad. When Annabelle isn’t reading and writing, she’s usually hiking or buying plants and books.