The Question “Who Am I,” and Movies We Love

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So many of us have been getting through this year by watching movies at home by ourselves, or with friends on Zoom, inventing new ways to grieve and to hope, to keep ourselves laughing, all through the simple act of watching stories unfold on our screens. Movies have the power to unearth the many layers of our identities; to help us answer the question: Who am I? And that is what we trace, by way of a few beloved movies including The Color Purple, The Fly, and Blockers, in this episode.

Danez Smith — is a Black, queer, HIV-positive writer and performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. They are the author of Homie and Don’t Call Us Dead, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Tony Banout — is the Senior Vice President of Interfaith Youth Core. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where he studied at the Divinity School and was a Martin Marty Center and Provost fellow.

Shea Serrano — is an author, journalist, and former teacher whose work has been featured in The Ringer and Grantland. He’s the author of The Rap Year Book, Basketball (and Other Things), and Movies (and Other Things).

Emily VanDerWerff — is a writer and the Critic at Large for Vox.

Virgie Tovar — is an author, activist, and one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on weight-based discrimination and body image. She is the author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat and The Self-Love Revolution, and hosts the podcast Rebel Eaters Club.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

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