Some 5 years ago, producer and director, David Scheve, conceived, then began creating for TDA Animation a series of animation shorts called Hard Knock Rock; adult-minded parodies inspired by ABC’s (now considered “classic”) 1970s educational animated series called Schoolhouse Rock.
One Hard Knock Rock installment is called Sufferin’ Till You’re Straight and is a three minute short featuring legendary musician and singer, Essra Mohawk, just as she did back in 1976 for Schoolhouse Rock’s Sufferin’ ’til Suffrage.
Mohawk reigns supreme in this lead singing role (with backup by Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene), here though, Scheve swaps out the subject of woman’s voting rights and replaces with a historical rendition of gay rights. What emerges is a delicacy of performance, execution, and artisanship that allows the viewer to forget (if they happen to be privy to the original) that Sufferin’ is even a parody.
Scheve’s talents as a producer/writer effectively communicate intelligent story telling; complete with references to pop-culture, cultural icons, infamous hatemongers, and unquestionably, one large dose of “smart-sense” political satire.
As testament to her musical career, the joining of Mohawk to the project creates an exciting dynamic; one that keeps fingers tapping and heads bobbing, and which also adds an immeasurable amount of enthusiasm, excitement, and energy to the goal of keeping a “non-conquerable” mantra affixed to a social issue that continues to polarize many factions; in many societies, within our global arena. Scheve’s animation short is excitingly fresh, and brings home the underlying message that equal rights should always be shared by one and all.
Hard Knock Rock’s Sufferin’ Till You’re Straight has been included as an official selection to National and International film festivals and is currently slated for screening at The Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park, NJ April 4-7, 2013, and at The KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, India, in May, 2013.