Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Film Prof with the Full Back Tattoo

This week, Occidental College film and video teacher Broderick Fox traveled Down Under to the picturesque Byron Bay Film Festival for the world premiere of his feature documentary The Skin I'm In.

After a brush with death several years ago, Fox embarked on a journey of personal transformation. One that he chose to memorialize by means of a unique, full back tattoo. From the film's synopsis:

The film becomes a highly personal yet accessible spiritual search that uses Fox’s body as a canvas as he works with Kwakwaka’wakw artist Rande Cook from Alert Bay, Canada. and African-American tattoo artist Zulu. Rande and Zulu work to design and render a full back tattoo: a unique work of art that tells the story of his past and charts a way of living for the future. Rooted in the myths of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation, the unfolding adventure reaffirms global indigenous traditions of tattooing that privilege rite, narrative, and community over trend.

Fox is openly gay and a recovering alcoholic. As he explains in the above trailer, that brush with death involved hitting rock bottom on the booze front in Berlin in 2005. There, was found blacked out-unsconscious on the tracks of a subway station and rescued by strangers.

His evolution as a gay male is also tied in the film to the prejudiced experiences of his two collaborators (youth for Rande, race for Zulu). Together with Fox, they have learned how to become comfortable in their own skin.

[Broderick Fox / Occidental College]

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