About American Textures
American Textures (USA/UK, 2016, 78min) is a documentary film which responds to the deeply engrained racial divisions that shape the daily life of American society today. It also responds to the craving America’s youth has for new horizons, for internal and external growth, for raw-frank-real interactions, for compassion and understanding.
The film follows six young Americans from different racial backgrounds (Black, White, Latino) breaking down the wall of silence that surrounds issues of race and embarking on a journey that challenges them to open up to new ways of seeing themselves, each other and the society they live in.
Why American Textures is needed
Current interracial tensions and violent events have rocked US society to its core. The social commitment and emotional rage of a wide variety of US citizens regarding injustices of the US legal system is dramatically visible within society.
Long-term racial tensions manifest as the physical segregation within American communities along racial lines, devastating race riots or deep-seated fears of addressing issues of race in public events, educational institutions and the workplace. A profound process of dialogue around race issues of past and present is urgently needed in sectors across US society.
Social Impact Vision
American Textures aims to inspire a new generation of young leaders to face the pain, bridge the ruptures and start creating pathways towards a society based on dialogue, mutual respect and understanding.
The interracial experiences, reflections and insights of the six film characters create colourful mirrors of the viewer’s own fears and missed opportunities for connection. The character’s unfolding relationships become vibrant blueprints for the transformative power of honest interactions and deep dialogue, and of the potential to use conflicts as thresholds for inner growth and deep human connection. Following the outer journey as well as the challenging inner journies of the six young heroes while they listen more deeply to “the Other” opens doorways to new discoveries and shifts in perspectives. Facing differences is transformed from being an uncomfortable task into an exciting opportunity for personal development and profound societal renewal.
It is my life experience as a human being, filmmaker and educator that social conflicts do not resolve themselves by avoiding them. Resolution needs awareness, courage, skill and conscious interactions. We urgently need a new generation of leaders who understand the major challenges of cross-cultural conflicts and who have the skills, commitment and grit to address them.
This film is being created to encourage and empower those future leaders to initiate a mind and heart opening movement of interracial dialogues across US society.
Film production status
We have completed production and are completing post-production of the final cut of American Textures.
I have personally engaged in preview screenings with diverse audiences of students, civic rights activists, filmmakers, and educators to receive feedback and witness the impact of the film. After screenings, I experience powerful student interactions, often staying for hours to share their thoughts, tears, fears and hopes around topics of interracial relations.
Arnd Wächter, Director/Producer, American Textures