‘The Swirl’ Director on Interracial Relationships
Pop culture’s most talked about couple, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, officially tied the knot just in time for the release of The Swirl, the latest release from Moguldum Studios.
The comedic documentary addresses the societal and cultural issues related to interracial dating. JetMag.com caught up with Tabari Sturdivant, the film’s director and producer, and discussed the inspiration behind the making of the film, Facebook arguments and, of course, Kimye.
JET: What inspired you to tackle the topic of interracial dating in your new documentary The Swirl?
Tabari Sturdivant: Moguldom Studios presented me with a couple of content ideas that they were looking to expound on and the interracial thing sort of jumped out at me. So I went on my Facebook and my Twitter and I put up some images and dialogue about interracial dating and it just exploded. I had hundreds of comments and people talking and arguing about it, so I knew that I had something there that I could sort of sink my teeth in to.
JET: Was the decision to tackle the topic from a comedic angle intentional?
TS: Yes, I didn’t want to make a heavy film. The idea of this company is that they’re sort of coining the phrase “docutainment,” so we’re doing a bunch of documentaries, but in an entertaining light to sort of pull the millennial group into watching documentaries. I knew immediately from my Facebook posts that it could drastically change into arguments and that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to have an open forum. What I realized is people want to talk about it, people are interested in dating interracially, but they just don’t have the forums to open up the dialogue. I knew from the arguments and how touchy the subject was that I definitely wanted to bring a comedic aspect into it, so that’s why I brought the comedians in.
JET: What were some of the reactions to your interracial dating post on social media?
TS: First, people thought I was being messy in my research because I didn’t necessarily say, “Hey, I’m about to make a film.” What I found out in making the film is that Black women are pretty much the only purists that will openly say, “Hey, I won’t date any White man.” I also have some beautiful married couples—Black and Asian, Black and White—that have these awesome love stories, so I knew that they would have a good balanced conversation. And that’s what I wanted—to just have a balanced conversation about interracial dating.
JET: Do you think that pop culture’s It couple, Kim and Kanye, have made interracial dating trendy once again?
TS: What I got from the Kim and Kanye thing is that people sort of look at them as overexposed celebrities and they’re not really the flag for interracial dating. But I break it into age groups. You have your baby boomers—a lot of people sort of opposed it and people stayed within the lines of their demographic. Then you have Generation X—jungle fever was big then, but people just weren’t talking about it. Now you have the millennial generation and they are raised different. There are no big color barriers to this younger generation that’s coming up ,so they’re totally open to dating what ever race makes them happy. And that was kind of a big component in what I was asking in the movie—what is the color of love? What do you think the color of love is? Everybody has a different answer and opinion.
JET: What would you like viewers to take away the most from your film?
TS: I think they’ll be entertained and I think that it will open their eyes. I think they’ll see that love comes in all colors, shapes and forms and where ever love is, that should be your goal more so than the color of love.
The Swirl is available now on DVD and digital download on Amazon.com, Google Play and iTunes. For more information, visit moguldomstudios.com.
About Marissa Wallace
Marissa Wallace is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist who delves into the multifaceted and rich fabric of Black arts and culture. Follow her happenings on Twitter @MarsWall_ for more.