It's Nice in Here

Robert-Jonathan Koeyers
Practice Autonomous Practices
Project Critical Studies
Major Animation
Year Fourth Year

"It's Nice in Here" is a short animated film about the last few days of a sensitive and introspective black boy nicknamed Crimson, seen through the eyes of the police officer who took his life and that of his best friend, Imani, who witnessed it all.

Which of the stories are we most likely to believe?

I have always made art that was somewhat personal, examining and dissecting myself to get to the core of who I am. But I have never directly addressed my race or cultural identity, even though this topic has been a source of much confusion in my life; always feeling either too black or not black enough.

Only recently I've started slowly seeing and accepting myself as a person of colour, and by doing so, I have also started looking around more and began noticing that something was terribly wrong. The countless stories of police officers shooting unarmed black men in the United States all started sounding alike and I felt powerless and wanted to understand why this was happening at all.

And that's how "It's Nice in Here" started. It's an attempt to paint a fragmented portrait of a boy where important pieces are missing and we're deliberately not seeing the full picture; just like the cases of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland and countless other people still remain a mystery.

All we can really go by are the stories of the ones who took their lives, and the ones who saw it all. But which of these stories are we most likely to believe? And because our memories aren't always the most reliable or coherent, I also wanted this story to feel highly subjective and inconsistent. I want the viewer to leave the film questioning which perspective they feel more comfortable with, hopefully prompting an interesting dialogue or raising questions about why they think the way they do.

It's Nice in Here, introducing the project