Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sundance Looks Again at Daughters of the Dust

Share |
With the debut of Daughters of the Dust in 1991, Julie Dash became the first African American woman to have a full-length theatrical release in the United States. Hello! This makes it obvious why the 2012 Sundance Film Festival has decided to feature Daughters of the Dust in its "From the Collection" category.

Daughters of the Dust pays homage to our African ancestors who lived on the seacoast islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Known as Gullah or Geechees, these ancestors had a distinct culture from the main island folks and retained many of the African words and ways of living.

The film is a poem – a meditation on the strength, poetry, vibrancy, and beauty of a people and the ones who came after them.

Here is the Voice of the Unborn Child, a character in the film:

"My story begins on the eve of my family's migration north. My story begins before I was born. My great grandmother, Nana Peazant, saw her family coming apart. Her flowers to bloom in a distant frontier."

In the film and in reality, as many of the people emigrated to the mainland and North, those who stayed on the islands held fast to the traditions and customs of their African-infused lives.

“My mommy and daddy stayed behind, with Yellow Mary. We remain behind, growing older, wiser, stronger.” -- the Unborn Child

“By using a not-yet-born major character/narrator, Dash demonstrates the Gullah/African sense of the connectedness of past, present, and future,” writes Joel R. Brouwer in his 1995 African American Review article, “Repositioning: Center and Margin in Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust.”

If you’re lucky enough to attend the Sundance Film Festival this year, you can see Daughters of the Dust at 3 p.m., Monday, January 23, at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah. (Although the last time I checked, there’s a waiting list to get in.)

Check out How to Buy Tickets to see Sundance Film Festival films.

Read the Scene Log for the film.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Alicia!

I love this film, so beautiful!

Alicia Michele Benjamin said...

You're welcome!

I can't begin to tell you what this film means to me. I'm soooo connected to it and really admire Ms. Dash's artistry. I wish more people, especially women, could see this film!