By Shaka King | Comedy
Ask your doctor if LaZercism is right for you.

A disease is sweeping the nation, affecting mostly white Americans. It’s “racial glaucoma,” which prevents them from seeing the efforts and contributions of people of color.

But there is hope: there’s a special treatment available that can help. It’s called “LaZercism,” and it might just save the world in a quick, easy way.

Director Shaka King offers a sharp, satirical comedic take on racism and perception, taking the form of daytime TV staples like talk shows and infomercials to offer a fresh, funny but incisive take on an incendiary issue.

The short, which made a splash at this year’s Sundance, pulls no punches and doesn’t shy away from its subject matter or its politics. With a terrific lead performance by Lakeith Stanfield — who has starred in projects like Atlanta, Get Out and Sorry to Bother You — It’s bold and in-your-face, taking the sometimes garish look and exaggerated emotional register of television to examine the often subtle issues of worldview and perception.

“Racial glaucoma” is an inventive, funny and pointed term that leans on the overmedicalized parlance of a world where every problem has a prescription. If entrenched racism and unexamined privilege is an affliction, then why not have a treatment for it? The film’s proposed solution is obviously satire, but the ailment is undeniably real.

This premise informs the whole of “LaZercism,” and while it hits notes both hilarious and dark, stretching the premise to its fullest conclusion takes the film to a place of genuine emotion and pain, and offers a plea for empathy and understanding that, in the end, is so obvious — but seemingly so difficult in a world where people may not even see the problem in front of them. “LaZercism” uses humor and imagination to tell people to open their eyes and see the full humanity of everyone around them.

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