Visual Art Inspired Armani Martin's Film "Dues Ex Machina"

By Faron Manuel

Last week I had the chance to catch up with my friend, and filmmaker Armani Martin ̶ ̶ who agreed to an ambush interview while en route to the opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival. LOL Her film Dues Ex Machina, which gives a visually account of racism, in the form of various systematic heralds in the lives of two young black men, was screened during the opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival ̶ ̶ as part of WonderRoot's Local Film Series.

As Art Historian on the project, I had the honor of consulting with Armani over the productions aesthetic. As the film's art direction has works like Ernie Barnes's My Miss America (1970) and Norman Rockwell's The Problem We All Live With (1964) at its underpinning. Winning both the Festival Award in the BronzeLens Film Festival, and the Gold Award in the LA Shorts Awards in 2016, visually, Dues Ex Machina uses a number of different symbols to navigates time, and time-honored issues of race in a layered and intentional fashion ̶ ̶ revealing many unsettling truths about the plight of black Americans throughout various moments in our nation's history. Listen below for more:


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