Interference was a dance film that incorporated many metaphors. Here are 4 things you may have missed watching the film.
Music and Meanings: La Go - Kiff No Beat
Interference uses the song "La Go" by Kiff No Beat. In the song, Kiff No Beat sings about an attractive woman and constantly says, "watch her go," referring to how she moves and turns them on. Now imagine institutional racism; what if it was a person? How would it react to the plight of Black people internationally? The same way the Kiff No Beat member sings about how he is attracted to his love interest, in Interference, the song represents how Diaspora wars and the oppression of black people please institutional racism if it was personified as a character. Like a bully that pits two people against each other and sits back to enjoy the fight.
2. White Eyes
If you guessed, eye color in Interference means a lot. As the young girls grow older while watching TV, their eyes change from regular to white.
The white eyes reflect how their minds have been filled with stereotypes of the other, blinding them from the person's reality in front of them. It refers to a sort of information download while brainwashing. American media has a history of painting people with singular characteristics that mask how complex and diverse people genuinely are. African Americans are criminals, and Africans are without agency, but Interference shows that these stereotypes reach far beyond American borders to the International landscape. Just as America exports its culture, it also exports biases that affect people's initial perceptions of others. This is also how people of color and immigrants can carry prejudices about one another. In Interference, the images shown on the African side's TV show the criminalization of African Americans and the other stereotypes. On the African American side, it shows the stereotypes of Africans. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her 2009 Ted Talk about the "dangers of a single story," explains how "impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children." This danger plays out clearly in Interference, where the women face off against each other and immediately let their prejudices dictate how they relate to the person they face. Someone who looks like them, but in many ways is worlds apart.
3. The Grass is Greener
There is a moment in Interference where the women's eyes change from white to red to show that now, each woman is hallucinating about the other. In their eyes, they see the privileges they think the other person has compared to their struggles. The African sees this well-to-do African American woman will a lot of opportunities and the economic power of the blue passport in her grasp; she wonders why anyone who is American would suffer that much. The African American woman sees an African woman who is strong in her identity and doesn't need to deal with the institutionalized racism and history of oppression. The fact that their eyes are red speaks to boiling hate due to jealousy. In a way, It also refers to a sense of blindness or lack of clarity. Both are blind to the fact that their situations are very similar, and they share the same enemy.
4. Two Sides of the Same Coin
When the women are tired of their situations and break into the other person's space (this is with the hope that their experience would be a better one), they find all over the space examples of the burden the other person had to carry. Both of them immediately sense that the other woman's situation was not as simple as they thought, with a realization that their issues are strikingly, painfully, similar.
Did you notice these themes? What other meanings did you find? Comment down below.
To watch interference again, and catch some more interesting themes, click here.