graduation speech

High school graduation is on the horizon and the class salutatorian prepares her speech. Despite appearances her private sphere is laden with secrets and insecurities.

In any tumultuous coming of age story, belonging can feel like a blessing. However that desire to belong — a desire particularly strong in adolescence — can be destructive. Growing up, I felt a constant struggle in not only belonging in the physical spaces I occupied but also within my own body. Today as I still learn to reconcile inner and outer turmoil, I have come to learn that no matter how isolated one can feel, we are not alone in our loneliness. “Graduation speech” is a narrative that happens somewhere between the public and private version of ourselves and a reflection on what it means to be considered successful or a role model and most of all, what it means to be true to one's self in both physical and emotional contexts.

a film by
Lanna Leite

directed by
Pom Bunsermvicha

produced by
Nate Lawrence
Lanna Leite

Sarah Cheung

assistant camera:
Jordan Beard

production design:
Jade Donaldson
Polina Godz

Alif Ibrahim

Nick deMarco

with generous support by
Peter & Teresa Hacunda
Brown International Scholarship Committee

special thanks:
David Barker
Carlos and Sam at Finest Foods on 117th
Sunrise Laundromat in East Harlem