Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Thandiwe Newton | Embracing Otherness, Embracing Myself

Actor Thandiwe Newton tells the story of finding her “otherness” — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. 

Thandi Newton

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Filmgoers first encountered Thandiwe Newton in the 1991 film Flirting, a tender and skin-crawlingly honest film about young love and budding identity. In her career since then, she’s brought that same intimate touch even to big Hollywood films (she was the moral center of Mission: Impossible II and of HBO’s Westworld, and the quiet heart of the head-banging 2012), while maintaining a strong sideline in art films, like the acclaimed Crash and the adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s For colored girls … 

Born in England, her mother is Zimbabwean, and Newton is active in nonprofit work across the African continent. In 2008, she visited Mali for a campaign to bring clean water to six African nations, and as a V Day board member, Newton visited the Congo to raise awareness of the chronic issue of sexual violence toward women and girls.

Running time: 13 minutes

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