BYU’s Peery Film Series is hosting screenings of the independent film “His Name is Green Flake” followed by a Q&A with film producer and writer Mauli Bonner.
There are six screenings scheduled in total, running until Feb. 18, and Bonner will be present at each of them to answer questions audience members have about the film, social issues and his experiences.
The film, awarded Best Film in 10 different festivals worldwide, is a historical fiction inspired by the true story of a Black enslaved pioneer named Green Flake. The movie explores the challenges Black Latter-day Saints faced in the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while also highlighting their faith.
The Peery Film Series, hosted by BYU’s Ballard Center for Social Impact, provides monthly film screenings with each month focusing on a different social issue. February’s topic is Diversity and Belonging.
Bonner said he sees this film as an opportunity to promote difficult conversations concerning race, history and the Church.
“It’s our shared history. And the more we learn about each other in our history, the better we’re going to be to one another,” Bonner said.
Bonner screens the film for free, encouraging viewers to make donations that will go toward building a monument to recognize African American contributions to the building of the early Church.
He said he hopes this film will be a catalyst for conversation and transparency about Church history while embracing faith in Christ.
“I know that on all levels, it’s hard to talk about. We just have to remember that we’re a Christian faith that tells all the stories, and we learn from the tough parts of those stories,” Bonner said.
Bonner said these early enslaved pioneers inspire his faith and desire to stay close to the Lord.
“I look at people like Green Flake, who was enslaved and still a member of the Church, contributed toward the temple knowing he would never step foot inside and kept his faith because of the promise of the Lord,” Bonner said.
“His Name is Green Flake” is just one of many films Bonner hopes to create in the future. “I want to continue telling stories,” Bonner said. “It’s all through my nonprofit and everything is going toward building the monument to honor these enslaved Black pioneers.”
More information on the film and screening times can be found on the Peery Film Series website.