Filmmaker Dale Resteghini, AKA Rage, didn’t create Cracka with the idea of making it into a feature film for theaters. Best known for “Da Hip Hop Witch”, his spoof of “The Blair Witch Project” that starred Eminem, Ja Rule, Pras, and Vanilla Ice, Rage viewed Cracka as more of a short film that might open the eyes and hearts of Americans to the past and current struggles of the Black community.
It actually began as a bio-pic on the life of Crispus Attucks, the runaway slave whose death by the Red Coats in the streets of Boston ignited The Boston Massacre. But Rage decided to change it up after the 2016 presidential election. “The trigger point was when I noticed some of my white friends from high school, people I haven't spoken with in thirty years, posting the most hateful and disturbing memes about Black people and Muslims,” he said.
Rage decided it was up to him to educate his friends about some of the atrocities black people have suffered at the hands of white America. “They need to see and experience the painful, heartbreaking, bloody struggle that the black community has endured through the generations.”
In Cracka, Rage reverses history. He paints a fictionalized world where white people are being oppressed by black Americans. The horrors of slavery are seen and felt in an all new way.
Reaction from Hollywood has been, in Rage’s words, “mind-blowingly incredible.” He’s received interest from casting directors, talent agents and several major studios; and what started as a short film is now being positioned as a series pilot.
We spoke with Rage to learn more about one of the season’s most buzz-worthy projects.
How did you come up with the idea for Cracka? I wanted to create a film that would show White America that slavery is more than mere words in a history book. It was real then just as oppression is real today. I’m fed up with racist whites who think they are better than black people because of the color of their skin.
Political theorist and philosopher Edmond Burke said in the 1700s, “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” It's always been important to never forget. Be it biblical history or the decimation of cultures at the hands of other cultures or ethnic cleansing, these actual, living, breathing nightmares must never be forgotten, especially when there seems to be a frightening reemergence of this sort of hate. It needs to be struck down with the force of a bat to the head.
Why is it important to tell the story of Cracka now? The world is broken. America is a riot nation that's burning like a raging fire. What's feeding it is hate and every incident and protest makes the fire rage more.
With race divisions at an all time high, do you worry the film may incite more anger? I pray Cracka will be the opposite; a sort of distinguisher that encourages viewers to pause and reflect.
What made you think a short film was the best way to get your message out? Listen, I can't sing. I can't rap. My gift is as a story teller. And the same way Bob Dylan or NWA might use music as a way tell their struggles and hardships, this is my art and Cracka is based on my life and sometimes near-death experiences.
Will the film feature notable hip hop artists? The cast will feature some iconic veteran actors, talented newcomers and yes, some recording artists as well. The score and soundtrack will be one that is in harmony with the story and visuals. Brutal and hard hitting at times, heartfelt and riddled with heartbreaking pain as well as moments of ecstasy and fear.
Follow Dale Resteghini, AKA Rage, on Facebook @ dale.resteghini