Shay is deep in credit card debt, and she doesn’t wanna tell her parents — first-generation Iranian immigrants — if she can help it.
“Bailout,” Ebrahimi wrote in an email, “captures cultural differences between children and parents in first-generation immigrant families using predatory lending as the focal point of tension. Credit cards are such a quintessential manifestation of American dominant aspirations, allowing us to live our lives among surplus and excess so that we can feel successful.”
Ebrahimi, 38, said the web series is also about creating media that shows “a wide spectrum of representation of people in various roles.” (A recent Ignite Philly talk took on this very topic.)
White people in America are afforded a wide spectrum of representation. All of us, no matter what race we belong to, are trained by the media to believe that white people can be nerds, artists, engineers, rich, poor, shy, outgoing, etc. But the rest of us as marginalized groups are not given that range, and our representations are narrow, and as a result, often very stereotyped. The reality is that every racial group has the counter-culturists, the conservatives, and the various subcultures; there’s no one way to be ‘Latino’ or ‘Iranian’, even though the media tries to convince us otherwise, and many of us buy into that and recreate that in our communities. The issues that I am exploring in this script add dimension to otherwise flat representations of women of Iranian descent in the diaspora.
Watch the first episode below. It was shot across the city, in Washington Square Park and Northern Liberties’ Cafe Chismosa. (See if you can spot Little Baby’s Ice Cream cofounder Jeffrey Ziga’s cameo.)
The first two episodes were funded by the Leeway Foundation, and Ebrahimi is running a Kickstarter to raise money for the rest.