“By far the best documentary series on race of the last decade.”
Larry Adelman was Series Executive Producer of RACE - The Power of an Illusion and co-director of California Newsreel.
RACE—The Power of an Illusion was first broadcast and released back in 2003. The three-part documentary series asks a question so basic it’s rarely raised: What is this thing called ‘race’? What we discovered was that many of our conventional assumptions about race—for instance, that the world's peoples can be divided biologically along racial lines—are wrong. Yet the costs of racism are very real, and can even have biological consequences.
Since its release, RACE—The Power of an Illusion has become one of the country’s most widely used documentaries ever. Millions of people have used the series to scrutinize their own deep-seated beliefs about the idea of race, and explore how our social divisions are not inevitable but made.
The research since the series’ release makes clear its continuing salience. Thanks to the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, this new companion website allows visitors to explore some of these new findings and to enrich their own screenings of the series.
We hope the series, along with this new website, can help you clear away the biological mythmaking and leave starkly visible the underlying social, economic, and political structures that disproportionately channel advantages and opportunities to white people. Perhaps then we can shift the conversation from discussing diversity and respecting cultural difference to tackling racism and building a more just and equitable society for all.
Series Executive Producer