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Selected Film:

Beneath the Ink

Selected Film:

Beneath the Ink

Why We Chose This Film

Thoughts, ideas, and things to consider about this film...

Transcript

Beneath the Ink is a documentary film about what happens when a tattoo parlor in Ohio offers to cover up tattoo-ed hate symbols for free. Inviting in those who want to redeem their past, Billy Joe White allows these customers to bury an ugly past and/or a bad decision with no judgment nor fee.

Beneath the Ink is a timely look at racism, but here we see another side to the people wearing the tattoos. We meet those looking for forgiveness and second chances; people who have felt isolated and guilty by what they chose to put on their bodies. Billy, by using his talent in a creative and meaningful way, is literally erasing hate and helping those in his community to heal.  

As you watched the film, did you experience any judgement towards those getting Billy’s help? Can you imagine what it would be like to NOT have those negative assessments? If so, what would it take to achieve that? Are there things in your own life for which you are working on forgiving yourself?  Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

To go even deeper, you can try the creative exercises we’ve developed for you.

About the Filmmaker

Cy Dodson has been in the storytelling business for over two decades and Beneath the Ink is his third film in five years.  He contacted Billy about the possibility of making a documentary on his mission at the tattoo parlor and over the course of a weekend they filmed what would become Beneath the Ink. It has screened in 40 festivals worldwide and has won 20 festival awards to date as well as qualifying for the 2019 Academy Awards.

Dive Even Deeper

Try the following to connect further with the film’s story…

Create your very own symbol of harmony and peace.

  • Doodle with a black pen on white paper while thinking about the people that you love and respect the most and the communities where you’ve felt welcomed and appreciated. The idea is to occupy your mind with these memories while allowing your hand to move freely with the pen around the page.
  • Now start a new page of doodling while listening to some soothing and inspiring music.
  • Once you have two pages of doodling, pay attention to the shapes and lines that you have drawn. Is there a portion or section within your drawings that you find particularly appealing? Try to redraw and isolate a pleasing design.
  • Once you have found your design, draw it on yourself as a temporary tattoo or post on a wall where you can see it regularly.

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6 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    What an Amazing Story! I mean what this man is doing is literally life changing & he is definitely making his mark as well as a difference on this world one person, who belongs to a family, who belongs to a community at a time! Bravo!!

    Reply
    • Kat Andrews

      I’m just learning about this project-
      This was my first film- I was so moved by the generosity and insight of the tattoo artist
      is incredible and the decisions of the recipients are also inspiring and hopeful.
      Great video!
      K. Andrews

      Reply
  2. MaryAnn Toboz

    Inspiring story and project. Thank you for your good work.

    Reply
  3. Carol A Starmack

    What an amazing and inspirational man doing such good. Thank you for sharing this and giving hope for a better world. For our better world.

    Reply
  4. Vicki Bowser

    What a great guy. He is helping so many people and himself.

    Reply
  5. Kathy

    Amazing.. felt this and its refreshing to see someone want to make a difference with tattoos.

    Reply

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