Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This weekend I watched Madonna's documentary about HIV/AIDS in the African country of Malawi, I Am Because We Are. I wasn't sure what to expect, Lawd knows Madonna isn't good in the film department. Nonetheless, I was so profoundly moved by this movie -- so much that I had dreams about it the next night! Finally, a documentary about HIV/AIDS in Africa that explained history, cultural traditions, but did not demonize the people.
I Am Because We Are is haunting. Originally, I thought the story would be about Madonna, but you barely see her. Instead we get the personal stories of people who are affected by the virus. A woman and her child being told they are HIV-positive. A child having his genitals cut off. A girl being forced to sleep with a man three times in one day after her child dies to "cleanse" her. On the other hand, there is the beauty and resilience of the people. As Madonna says, "Malawi needs change desperately and yet there are so many things I would never want to change. The people that live here are amazing. I often feel like we are the ones that have it wrong."
I encourage everyone to watch this documentary, which is available to watch for free on YouTube. The movie is below - please watch!