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The Award-Winning Documentary


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Set in the Kono district of Sierra Leone, this documentary film captures the beauty of blackness through the lens of the youth coming of age amid a skin-bleaching epidemic.


Ages 13-20, these Sierra Leone natives are all impacted by the rise and popularity of skin- bleaching products targeted to their community.  From best friends torn by colorism to a Muslim girl conflicted by her religious upbringing and changing her appearance to a star athlete whose career and health are at stake due to skin bleaching, this award-winning documentary directed by Ebony Gilbert & Adisa follows six young people impacted by skin bleaching practices infiltrating their rural community.


While this documentary exposes billion-dollar industries preying on poverty-stricken communities by encouraging them to lighten their complexions regardless of the harmful impact on their health and psyche, this film also affirms the natural beauty of these young people and reminds them of who they are. Ifine—a Krio term that means beauty—brilliantly captures these youth and their bravery to be seen.  

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The Stories

"My mom bleaches our baby sister.  I like the cream my mother buys for us because it makes my body pretty."

Mariama, 12

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"If I stopped rubbing my cream, my girlfriend would leave me." 

Abass, 18 

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"Please do not spoil your color.
Black is beautiful." 

Mariam, 18


The Filmmakers

Ebony Gilbert

Click here to meet more of the ifine team. 


Listen to the original score for ifine by award-winning composer Raashi Kulkarni.

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