Last week I watched the movie Luca again with my daughter.
It’s a beautiful movie, and although there was hardly any diversity, there are so many interesting elements we can apply to D&I.
The main issue is humans vs. sea monsters.
Sea monsters are a very visceral example of “the Other” that we can substitute any identity for – different skin colour, religion, age, culture, gender, etc.
Without spoiling the movie for you, here are some of the parallels to D&I:
Luca (a sea monster) was not allowed to go above the surface where the humans live.
He was taught by his family (who were taught by their families) that it was very dangerous and that he should never allow himself to be seen by humans.
Sea monsters stayed in the ocean, safe beneath the surface.
The result? Fear and lack of understanding about humans.
When Luca does make it to the surface (about 10 minutes in) he found a whole new world. Literally.
On land, he learned all sorts of new things beyond his imagining, met new people and had new experiences.
And, he was in danger.
Because the humans in the village were taught by their families (who were taught by their families) that sea monsters were dangerous. They hunted sea monsters for sport.
The result? Fear and lack of understanding about sea monsters.
In his quest, we see a few key moments and an array of responses that show what lack of acceptance and hatred can look like, and lead to for both parties.
It’s also a powerful example of what happens when we separate ourselves – and the possibilities that can happen when we connect.
Representation is important. In all areas and for all ages.
It allows us to experience and acknowledge difference in its many forms (both visible and invisible).
It allows us to recognize the value that difference can bring.
It allows us to love who we are and see our potential – and the potential of others.
It helps us to build bridges.
And with those bridges comes the possibility of getting to know each other, dispelling myths and stereotypes, and connecting.
Connection ultimately helps to increase awareness and understanding – which help to decrease fear.
Watch the movie, and share the parallels you find in the comments.
(c) Annemarie Shrouder 2022