by Kwaku Awuku-Asabre
We Do What We Can is a film that looks at one of the miracles in the journey of diaspora Africans. It follows two twenty-something newlywed immigrants who have a child when they don’t have much of a place to live. The film follows the couple as they reflect on their ambitions, while striving to make a way – both for themselves and for their offspring – to be all that they see themselves to be.
‘We Do What We Can’ is a film about a miracle in the journey of Diaspora Africans in the United Kingdom. I completed this film while completing an internship to become a criminal barrister. I can say that something that kept me working on it, after preparing a case at night or before I started an assessment in the morning, was the thought of the people it would put on screen and what it might say about them.
The immigrant people it depicts will see a truth they know about themselves, one they do not often speak about, handled with care and shared with others. They will see themselves portrayed poetically, as individuals who have rejected an offered destiny and have instead set a course according to their own ambition. Miracles line the paths that they have walked and this film is part of an effort to ensure that our narratives record that fact.
We are informed by the stories we have about ourselves and this film’s focus serves as a reminder to the children of these people of the exploits of those they come from; a reminder that their parents and grandparents are world beaters who have survived, created and conquered just to be where they are right now, just to give their children the lives that they are living right now. This film gives a narrative about them by someone born to them, one that I hope will soon displace the narratives that have been placed on immigrants that could not be further from the truth.
‘We Do What We Can’ is a film that has an audience in African and Jamaican immigrants specifically, and immigrants in general together with their children. Knowing the mission of San Francisco Black Film Festival (“SBFF”), to celebrate African Cultural Diaspora, to dispel negative stereotypes and to serve as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times, I am convinced that SBFF would be the right place at which to show this film. We Do What We Can is a first generation immigrant made, BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) woman shot and BAME woman produced, short film that offers a narrative about immigrants counter to those currently prevailing – narratives that could not be further from the truth.