Kiersten Nurse, a black female filmmaker from Atlanta talks about her 3-part anthology covering the issues that result from policing and the criminal justice system.
Blossom: Tell us about Kiersten Nurse the creator.
Kiersten Nurse: Kiersten the creator is a 26-year-old Atlanta native. I studied Mass Media in undergrad at Historically Black Alabama State University. I recently obtained my Masters of Arts at Clayton State University. I love philanthropy, music and creativity in general.
Blossom: What are your career aspirations?
Kiersten Nurse: As far as my career goes, I’m at a stage where I am just sowing the seeds for my harvest and doing what I love. Whatever and wherever my journey leads, I hope to make an impact, and inspire change.
Blossom: Tell us about your project “Bring Back Our Boys”.
Kiersten Nurse: My project “Bring Back Our Boys” is a socio-political analysis of the effects of policing in the black community. It is 3-part anthology covering the issues that result from policing and the criminal justice system. Police Brutally, Mass Incarceration, Reentry are chapters of this documentary.
Blossom: What inspired you to create “Bring Back Our Boys”?
Kiersten Nurse: The devaluation of black lives is a social norm in American society that many of us know all too well. “Bring Back our Boys” aims to shed light on these issues that result from that. I wanted to give a voice to the families and victims of the slain and the unjustly incarcerated.
Blossom: What challenges did you face in creating “Bring Back Our Boys”?
Kiersten Nurse: The most challenging part of creating this documentary was editing. Shifting through what was and was not as important was difficult. Fortunately, I was able to work with very talented Clayton State film student Rafael Salis. He dissected a lot of the interview bites in which I had grown to be quite attached to. Rafael played a significant role in the overall flow and rhythm of the piece.
Blossom: How has the project been received by audiences? What kind of feedback have you received? Any mixed reviews?
Kiersten Nurse: “Bring Back our Boys” has been received quite well so far! It was a semifinalist in Georgia film festival Cause & Effect. I’ve entered it into a couple of film festivals. I’m still waiting on their decision. It has also received some backlash due to the title and subject matter. Critics say that I should focus on more than just black men, since there are so many issues plaguing the Black community. Also, the title throws a lot off. However, my answer to the first is just because I care about the moon doesn’t mean I don’t care about the stars. This is just one of many projects I aim to do. To the latter, “Bring Back Our Boys” was in response to the Bring Back Our Girls movement in Nigeria. Although our Black boys in America are not being kidnapped and or terrorized by Boko Haram, one could argue the US criminal justice system terrorizes them all the same.
Blossom: Do you think Black women feel an obligation or responsibility to protect Black men? Is this obligation to protect reciprocated by Black men?
Kiersten Nurse: But who will protect the Black woman is a question I ask myself quite often. I don’t feel that black women feel a certain need to protect the black man. However, I feel that in most of us it is in our nature to feel the need to nurture them. For many black women, we have been left to pick up the slack and try to be both mother and father. However, this is a system that we came to know through the divisive practice of slavery and now mass incarceration. Is that respect always reciprocated? No. It’s a vicious cycle; it’s difficult to do what you don’t know. If all your life you were being nurtured, who was to teach you how to uplift, honor, and protect?
Blossom: Where can we find you online?
Kiersten Nurse: If you’d like to connect with me, the best way would be on my Instagram @Kiers1021
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Lauren is an actor, multimedia journalist, recovering tomboy and media junkie. She is an advocate of social justice, to-do lists and kind people with big dreams.