A close-up of local native and filmmaker Harry Williams II regarding his recent projects.
Words by Molly Britt
“A Life Worthy” is a short film based on the book “Blessed” written by Harry Williams II. The story touches on the life of a young man “who grew up in the hood” and found himself dealing with drugs and violence, despite his loving parents and his path in life, and the film touches on the book’s topics of gang violence, drug deals, life and death situations, and a man simply promising to change his ways and move toward a faith-based life.
As I sat down to watch the 19-minute short film Williams sent me, I did not know what to expect. I found myself interested in where it was going, and every turn it took me on, I was struck. To explore topics like the ones this story talks about is to try and understand a life I did not have to experience growing up, but one many others have been dealt. After watching the film, I spoke with Williams to gain further insight into why he chose to tell this story.
The story is “95% of my life,” Williams told me. Every character, he said, is a piece of him. “I want to show folks that, OK, this is where I’ve been. These are the things that I may be involved in … and not so much glorify it but still tell the story that this is a reality.” He made an effort in both the book and the film to give others a look into a world they may never knew existed that is honest, without judgment and not overdramatized, as many films on such topics can be.
Growing up, Williams had always been imaginative and creative, but it wasn’t until he was older that he felt the need to start writing. He bought a legal pad and just started writing. One day he shared his story with some friends and co-workers—and they loved it. When he saw that he could really do something with his words, he got a laptop and became more serious. He began writing things he could see play out like a movie in his head and knew then, it could be something. After that “a light switch came on,” and Williams found people in the film industry that could help him on this path.
Williams has taken a liking to tagging the end of all his films with words of positivity from someone who’s been a part of the film’s journey. He wants to show others that they can do anything no matter where they come from.