*Kids say the darndest things…
In TV One’s original film “White Water,” twins Amir and Amari O’Neil tag team to play one character, seven-year-old Michael, who is obsessed with drinking out of a whites only water fountain, in Opelika, Alabama, in 1963.
Michael’s blindness to discrimination creates drama throughout the small town. It ripples through his parents (played by Sharon Leal and Larenz Tate), his friends, the local police and the KKK.
During the TCA session for the film, Amir and Amari were asked about their portrayal of Michael.
Amari was asked what he thought about during the scenes where he’d drink from the fountain and wonder why it might taste different for different races. Drawing from an on-set experience, he responded: “I thought it would taste different because my friend Tommy in the movie, he was drinking it for a long time, and I thought that because he was drinking it for a long time, it was really good – better than ours. It wasn’t rusty, and gross, and nasty.”
His brother Amir was asked why he thought there would ever be a rule segregating water fountains. He answered: “I think they made a rule like that — they thought they were better than the black man just because they were white. In my eyes they should have stopped it at that time in 1963.”
Actress Sharon Leal, who plays Michael’s mom Annie, says “White Water” is unique in that it filters the stark reality of racism through the innocence of little boy.
“White Water,” also starring Larenz Tate, premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. on TV One.
Watch the trailer below: