Last week was a weird one. In the span of 24 hours America inaugurated a new President and bore witness to the largest protest in the nation's history. Emotions were high and volatile, switching between fear and hope at breakneck pace. It can be tough to have perspective on just how wild a time we are living in, but thankfully there are artists out there who help us to take a step back and recognize the motions we're going through.
Filmmaker Umar Malik released his experimental, politically-driven short film earlier this week, titled "Hail To The Chief". In under five minutes Malik and his crew are able to embody that simultaneous fear and hope many of us felt over the past week.
In talking to Outspeak, Malik said, "I've always felt strongly about the responsibility I have to use my unique voice to stand up for those that do not have a voice. This election was quite the wake up call for me, as I felt I had selfishly stayed silent, partly because of laziness. Therefore, I made a conscious decision to start to take responsibility for my part in the injustices in the world and to use the medium that I know best, film, to try to make an impact."
It's no secret that art often thrives in times of political struggle, and we're bound to see more artwork along these lines in the years to come. Malik said, "I firmly believe that democracy is dependent on the arts. It is a way for normal people to express themselves in a way only they can. And it's only when people express themselves, that change occurs."
Check out "Hail To The Chief" below.