Damage Control

A brutal assault is revealed to be something much more important.
As a group of friends show us what it truly means to live on this side of the fence.

A visceral short film exploring misconceptions and perspectives on race relations. Where every act of defiance is an act of DAMAGE CONTROL.

The film is about the role systemic racism plays in our daily lives and its effects on black people today.
The [5]-minute action comedy lays bare a fraction of the daily struggles, obstacles and systemic stereotypes imposed on Afro Caribbean cultures.

Centred on real life experience, Abdou Cissé gives viewers insight into grappling with identity and growing up in systematically hostile environments. Offering an alternative point of view to promote understanding that racism is not a problem to be solved by black people.

Posing a simple question: When will enough be enough?

DAMAGE CONTROL is an open conversation about the vehicles that allow systematic racial oppression and lack of accountability to exist. Following on from 2019’s award-winning, BIFA nominated film Serious Tingz—Abdou Cissé further develops the ideas of his last film and takes his craft a step further, bringing it to TV via Channel 4’s Random Acts.

After making Serious Tingz last year, I wanted to create something more visceral and engaging. This film flips the perspective and looks at how racial stereotypes and oppression first enters society, and eventually becomes normalised.

Like many of us, I was inspired by the events of this summer. 2020 has been a year of tragedy, but also a year where the unheard voices across the world are starting to unify around common causes. For a brief moment, the world decided enough was enough and we got a glint of what real change could look like. Where there’s accountability for not only the participants in racial injustice but more so those who are complicit in their silence.

The film feels straight forward but dig a little deeper and you’ll see more, even though it captures only a fraction of what people face on a daily basis.

I speak for everyone on set when I say it was heavy to see that car. It was a lot even writing those words. Especially when it’s laid out for everyone to see, it really hits home on how much we overcome and how far the world needs to go. Then when we see the car getting smashed, for a brief second there was a sense of freedom from those words, all you could feel was euphoria. The cast felt it too. It was fleeting but it left a mark on us.”

To ensure the film’s authenticity, Cissé casts a predominantly black team who draw on genuine lived experiences to powerfully bring the subject to life.

“The best thing about the film for me is the conversation at the end,” Cissé reveals. “It holds so much significance when we talk about White accountability and being complicit. There is so much baked into the casualness of it all. As friends you always have conversations like that all the time. Flip the context, and then suddenly everything has a bigger meaning. It’s not a plea for allyship but a statement on taking responsibility”.