Iman Shervington’s “Woke” serves as wake up call to romantic trauma

This Tuesday, I attended the New Orleans Film Festival and got a chance to see a film by Iman Shervington called Woke. The film was written to inform young people about sexual education. In my opinion, however, the main theme highlighted was that of emotional trauma, not sexual education. She expressed how pain and trauma are generational through cinematic genius.

What amazed me about the film is that it was shot in three and a half days with a micro budget. If Shervington hadn’t said anything I would have never guessed it. The cast she had was great; she even said it herself. They shared such a passion for sexual education and childhood trauma, that they all agreed to work for small salaries in order to complete the film.

The film was centered around a boy, Brandon, in college who lived in New Orleans with his father and stepmother. His relationship with his father was tumultuous, and things usually got physical between the two. Brandon wanted to be nothing like his father. He tried so hard that he didn’t realize it had already happened.

Brandon and his college sweetheart, Maisha, were planning on moving in together when Maisha found out that she was given the choice to transfer to a college up in New York. Brandon hears this news and doesn’t take it well and acts out by hitting her and sleeping with her rival.

When Brandon looks back at what he has done, he begins realize that he is turning into his father. Brandon now has to deal with his college sweetheart moving away to New York, who he had just made plans to start a family with.

Instead of waiting for her decision to take the offer or not, Brandon is reckless and does something that may or may not have cost him the girl he loves.

This was my first film festival and watching this movie makes me want to attend others. Shervington did a great job with this film. Even though she said the overall theme of the film was sexual education, I believe the film dealt with the pattern of trauma more. I would recommend this film for people who have dealt with abuse and has had a person that they trusted walk out on them.

I would like to send a thanks to the New Orleans Film Society and the Broad Theater for giving me the opportunity to attend the film fest and watch the film Woke.

Today, October 19, wraps up the New Orleans Film Festival of 2017. For more about this film and others films from the festival go to