This is [Not] Who We Are is a documentary film exploring the gap between Boulder, Colorado’s progressive self-image and the lived experiences of its small but resilient Black community. Its throughline is the story of Zayd Atkinson, a university student who was performing his work study job cleaning up the grounds of his dorm when he was threatened by a police officer and, soon, by eight officers with guns drawn. He lived to tell the story many Black men don’t survive to tell.

It took a three-year collaboration of two Boulder-based filmmakers Beret E Strong and Katrina Miller to fully illuminate how that incident fits into the panorama of Boulder’s racial history and makes us reflect on us and who we are. The film explores the gap between Boulder’s progressive self-image and lived experience.