by Rich Moreland, October 2016
B Skow believes a little political incorrectness teaches all of us an important lesson. In Color Blind, he attacks racial stereotyping in broader society while offering support for diversity in the adult film business.
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Meal time in the family kitchen opens Color Blind. Along with daughters Noelle (Kasey Warner) and Shauna (Adriana Chechik), Mom (Reena Sky) and Dad (Steven St. Croix) are watching the evening news . . . sort of. Noelle is unsighted; her vision is hearing and touch.
A small television is positioned on the counter behind Noelle and for the family, especially Dad, watching it means looking past his daughter. It’s an image that defines where this film is going.
The year is 1992 and rioting is devouring South Central Los Angeles as the African-American community protests the arrest of Rodney King. Clips of what we sadly see too much of today—looting, vandalism, and general mayhem—move front and center in the opening moments of Color Blind.
B Skow has set the mood. Dad and his daughters will ultimately clash like the chaos on the streets.
By the way, this is a working class family that doesn’t live in LA. Shauna flippantly mentions her all-knowing father should move to California to straighten things out.
Dad goes through a litany of stereotypes, suggesting the modern large screen TV is the black man’s “forty acres and a mule,” a reference to the expectations of freedmen immediately after the Civil War.
To set the record straight, they got sharecropping and an unrelenting cycle of poverty instead.
Relying on a history he interprets only in sound bites, Dad, an angry replay of Archie Bunker, offers one of his own. He calls the rioters, “dumb shits.”
Later when racist language comes unexpectedly from a frustrated Noelle, he reacts with shock, wanting to know who “taught” her the nastiest of all words.
“You did, every single day without saying a word!” she screams.
Color Blind pokes fun at stereotyping by using stereotyping.
Fried chicken, corn on the cob, and iced tea, a favorite menu in the South, grace the family table. Dad reminds everyone that basketball and unprotected sex are cultural staples in the black community though, unbeknownst to everyone, he has an African-American stripper girlfriend (Layton Benton) on the side.
But in Dad’s mind, that’s okay. A little cheating never hurt anyone and don’t black women crave sex anyway?
Incidentally, he does her bareback in the movie’s third sex scene.
Fed-up with his tirades, Shauna sarcastically says she’ll iron his KKK shirt because he’d “make a great wizard” in a statement that carries a double meaning: the racist Grand Wizard and the 19th century Populist vision of the Wizard of Oz, who is nothing more than political hot air (Donald Trump, anyone?).
Later Shauna mentions that her father caught her with her “pants down” using a dildo she affectionately calls “a big, black cock.” We see her frolic with the satisfier in a well-shot scene.
By the way, there’s more to come for Shauna when flirting with Tyson (Jovan Jordon) works to her advantage.
Skow takes one more shot at stereotypes when Dad speaks with Noelle. He mentions the word “special” and how God makes some people different from others, creating more than one interpretation of “special.”
Of course, it’s his way of telling Noelle that her blindness is her burden, making her “different” in a good way.
His attitude changes when she challenges him about the “different” people on TV. They are not special, he says, in so many words.
It’s the height of hypocrisy.
What makes Color Blind a must-see film is its social statement. The groundwork is laid early when a pair of Bible sellers, Mathew (Isiah Thomas) and Tyson show up at the front door. They “are reaching out” to their neighbors, “extending the hand of friendship,” they announce.
The African-American brothers are a bit uncomfortable peddling the “Good Book” in a neighborhood that is alien to them. To soothe the way, Mathew remarks that “love is blind, color is only color, skin is just skin.”
Of course, Dad will have none of this and slams the door. But the girls are persuaded; the brothers have much to offer emotionally and physically (this is a porn film, after all) which is the narrative’s remaining journey.
Speaking of sex scenes, all are solid and three are interracial which carries a stereotype of its own as I have heard in the industry.
Two stand out. First is Kasey Warner/Isiah Maxwell. . . . not the usual porn fare. Tender and warm, it’s the sexual awakening of a girl for whom color is meaningless. Remember, touch is part of Noelle’s vision that makes this sex scene unique.
On the other hand, for gonzo fans Skow includes an extended anal romp featuring Jovan Jordan and the raunchy interracial sweetheart of this film, Adriana Chechik.
Not a Single Color
The final ten minutes is the movie’s tour de force, but the resolution is traumatic and thought-provoking. Not surprisingly, the word “boy,” another stereotype, makes an appearance.
In an overwhelming moment, Noelle shouts at her father, “I’ve never seen a single color in my entire life,” deflating the central stereotype of Color Blind. What the eyes see is too often culturally programmed and not individually felt.
Simply put, everything is neutral until given meaning.
Accolades are extended to Steven St. Croix who holds the narrative together with superb acting. He captures the Archie Bunker persona perfectly. Also, Kasey Warner handled a difficult role beautifully, perhaps learning a thing or two from Maddy O’Reilly who plays a blind daughter in another Skow production, Daddy’s Girls.
And let’s not forget that Reena Sky delivers an entertaining scene with Steven St. Croix and Adriana Chechik is as fine a gonzo girl as can be found, plus she can act.
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B Skow takes chances with Color Blind. In fact, he’s courageous beyond any adult director I know. His work moves past the tepid political/social statements we usually see in porn while keeping the genre going with explosive sex scenes.
So where does this leave Color Blind?
Rodney King, whose arrest sparked the 1992 riots, said in retrospect, “Can’t we all just get along?”
That is the question Skow presents in this dynamic film and for those in our society who can’t, the consequences can be dire.
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Color Blind is a product of B Skow for Girlfriends Films and can be ordered from the website.