Filmmaker Trenton Lumpkin, Align Entertainment, LLC., Triauric, in partnership with 1091 Pictures, released his latest offering, Through Her Eyes, which land on digital platforms on July 20. The feature is not only a brilliant showcase of Lumpkin’s talent as a storyteller, but also introduces budding leading lady Rayven Symone Ferrell.
A coming of age film, Through Her Eyes presents the daily life of one African-American family in Selma, Alabama just as the state decides to desegregate schools. As the title implies, the story is told mostly from the perspective of Ferrell’s character: 15-year-old Rosalee Wimbush who, despite her shyness, exudes power and displays a level of courage that even some of the adults around her could not muster.
While the film is a fictionalized account of one little girl’s true experience with desegregation, Lumpkin’s story and the way in which it is presented manage to avoid the pitfall of relying on history alone to do the heavy lifting. The writer/director creates a world in which viewers are just as vested in the lives of Rosalee’s parents Otis and May as they are in her own. As Rosalee wrestles with the decision to become the first child to desegregate her school, viewers are also treated to no less than three concurrent storylines beautifully explored and developed. By giving the audience a chance to get to know each of the supporting characters in the protagonist’s life, Lumpkin manages to humanize the Civil Rights Movement, serving as a reminder that many of the courageous people who changed the course of American history in the late 1960s, were more than just names in the pages of history books.
Comprised mostly of former stage actors, the cast delivers a captivating performance that doesn’t rely on much more than their presence on screen. Through Her Eyes is a coming of age story that reminds viewers that there are pockets of hope and joy to be found even in the midst of darkness. Through its portrayal of normal Black life, including some of the most mundane and commonplace moments, Through Her Eyes is a welcomed shift in perspectives in the world of historical dramas.
“History is not Fiction. People lived through these events regardless of how uncomfortable they may cause the viewer to feel. I chose to tell this story because I wanted people to experience what Rosalee had to go through simply for wanting to better herself. What was her crime? Being Black? If we’re going to create a better future, we have to learn from our past,” says Trent Lumpkin.