Patois is a film that speaks on the importance of identity and self-worth through the coming of age story of a young first generation American girl Khenya, as she navigates being raised in a household with rules and tendencies that reflect the traditions of her parent’s home country, while also trying to find herself and fit in at a typical American school.

“One does not inhabit a country;
one inhabits a language.
That is our country,
our fatherland – and no other.”

Theme & Inspiration

Patois has an original approach in its narrative storytelling. Though the story is shown through the perspective of our protagonist, the actual narrative of the story is told subtextually, almost comparable to a visual representation of Hemingway’s iceberg theory. The camera’s focus stays focused on our protagonist Khenya throughout the film, however the real bulk of the story comes from the different elements happening around her. This approach was chosen because it was very reminiscent of the childhood experience; often times monumental milestones and life events occur around us, that as a child we aren’t as cognizant of and it’s not until we look back as adults that we realize the tremendous impact that it had on us whether we were aware of it or not.

This cinematic approach also mirrors themes present throughout the film, specifically the idea of maturity. As an immigrant, Khenya has to assume responsibilities that are usually expected of much older American counterparts; to Khenya the rejection of these responsibilities represents her desire to be American, but in reality she is rejecting maturity itself, struggling with the complexities of not quite knowing what it means to grow up and become a woman.


Naked Gallery, Inc. is a minority owned, Chicago based production company whose mission it is to make films that express our ideas, however beautiful or disturbing they may be. We promise to never create boring productions, and will always do our best to avoid trends, in favor of setting them ourselves.

Our work focuses on exposing the human experience bare, free from any facades. Free to be comfortable in your own skin. Naked.