This independent art-house hit of 1991 showed audiences a vision so rare on screen as to be virtually unknown: an African-American community marked by beauty, poetry and feminine grace rather than ghetto squalor or angry blaxploitation.
Set in 1902 and filmed on South Carolina’s Saint Helena Island, Daughters of the Dust
presents a summery, languorous series of scenes emphasizing three generations in the Gullah community. Speaking their own language in a non-linear story, the women meditate on how their world apart may disappear if they move to the mainland. Writer-director Julie Dash based the project on her own family history, and thanks to funding from PBS’ American Playhouse
, this became the first feature directed by an African-American woman to receive a general release.
Drafted into the National Film Registry in 2004 and screening locally as part of Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesdays series, the film is a clear visual inspiration for Beyonce’s Lemonade
and remains as graceful, refreshing and privileged a glimpse into an alternate black reality as Black Panther
, though without all the fighting.
$10-$15 suggested donation, Tue Jun 19, 7:30pm, Santikos Bijou, 4522 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 614-8977, tprcinema.org.
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