Daughters of the Dust
Sponsored by Time Warner Inc.
Dir. Julie Dash. 1991, 112 mins. 35mm. With Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Barbara-O, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Tommy Hicks. Dash’s 1991 masterpiece was her first feature, and the first feature directed by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release. The year is 1902, in the home of several Gullah people, descendants of African captives who escaped the slave trade to live on islands off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. Here, members of the Peazant family are on the verge of a planned migration to the U.S. mainland, where American modernity seems to offer a good life. Dash constructs their home as a rarefied world, possibly soon a “paradise lost,” through a masterful interplay of mise-en-scène, symbolic markers, and magical realist gestures.
The Diary of an African Nun
Dir. Julie Dash. 1977, 15 mins. Digtial projection. With Barbara O. Jones, Barbara Young, Makimi Price, Ron Flagge, Renee Carraway. A nun in Uganda weighs the emptiness she finds in her supposed union with Christ. Adapted from an Alice Walker short story, the film was a move by its director toward narrative filmmaking, though it has a stylistic intensity that anticipates Daughters of the Dust.
Preservation funded in part with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
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