ETERNALS – Review by Ashanti OMkar

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Eternals is a win for all minorities who never got to see ourselves as heroes.

As a child, living in Nigeria, I watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on repeat.

While I loved it, I remember asking my parents why there was no one who looked like me. I spoke English, too, like in the film – but everyone on screen was white.

Even the films and TV shows I religiously watched every Saturday night, like The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider and The A-Team, had mainly white casts, too – with the odd Black character, but almost never any Asians.

Asian characters were in shows like Mind Your Language, but they were nothing like I was – and always shown in dim light. And, even after moving to London aged 12, popular TV shows like The Bill, Neighbours or Eastenders, back then, had few background characters of colour – let alone playing main leads.

Because of this, I saw my future in a linear way – never seeing the option of doing what I really loved, which was working in TV, cinema and music. Had I seen myself on screen, or even in the credits (that I would scour, looking for ethnic names), I would have jumped into pursuing my passions much earlier, and fought for it.

I was eagerly waiting for the day that I’d be able to find stories and actors who looked more like me.

So it’s safe to say that I jumped with joy when Chinese born, UK/US-raised Oscar winner Chloé Zhao was hired to direct Eternals – making her Marvel’s first woman director of colour. Continue reading.

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Ashanti OMkar

Ashanti OMkar is a London, UK based broadcaster who has worked with the BBC for the last decade on radio and TV, and contributes to Total Film Magazine & Podcast, Guardian, TimeOut, and Metro, talking films, music and representation matters. She's a voting member of the UK Film Critics' Circle in film and music sections, and is on the awards and inclusion committee. She's a BRIT Awards, BIFA, Sundance voter. She's a strategist at the LIFF Film Festival, and writes about food sometimes. She comes from a corporate background, working for Oracle, SAP, PepsiCo and the Hilton Group, and has been a contributing editor to the Cineworld Unlimited Magazine. She was born in South Asia, raised in Denmark and Nigeria, before settling in London, aged 12.