Back in 2013, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh made a splash on the internet when he took to the streets of New York in a customized turbaned Captain America uniform. A year later, a team of filmmakers followed Singh on one of his Captain America runs and the result of that journey, a short documentary feature called Red, White, and Beard, debuts in one week at its eponymous website.
Also, come back later in the week for Alice’s review of the film. In the meantime, check out its trailer and description after the cut.
America is known as the melting pot of the world. We are proud of our diversity, our acceptance of different races and religions, and our development as a multicultural nation. But even in New York City, the biggest and most diverse place in the country, our notions about other people are often very narrow.
In response to stereotypes and intolerance, one man — with a flowing beard and bright blue turban — dashes around the Big Apple in a Captain America uniform.
This short documentary was made possible by a Sikhlens Grant, which provided the opportunity for three filmmakers — Ben Fischinger, Matthew Rogers, and Ryan Westra — to get to know Vishavjit (“Vish”) Singh and his philosophy on Captain America. Vishavjit is a funny, novel New Yorker who has his own claim to fame: he’s the only serious cartoonist in the American Sikh community. He often depicts racism, religious ignorance, and public misunderstanding of the Sikh faith in his cartoons, in hopes of informing people through humor and pushing the perceptual boundaries of those who view his work. The filmmakers of Red, White and Beard follow Vish, dressed as turbaned Captain America, around New York City for three days, capturing people’s reactions to a skinny Sikh man dressed as a classic American superhero.
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