7:15 pm | (1991) 25th Anniversary Restoration | 1 hr 52 min | Drama, Romance| Alva Rogers, actor, writer, dramatist, and puppeteer, is best known for her work in Daughters of the Dust and School Daze. She will be attending the Tuesday night (2/28) screening for a Q&A.
Daughters of the Dust tells the story of three generations of Gullah women in the Peazant family on St. Helena Island in 1902 as they prepare to migrate to the North. It is a 1991 independent film written, directed and produced by Julie Dash. It is the first feature film directed by an African-American woman distributed theatrically in the United States. It
Featuring an unusual narrative device, the film is narrated by a character called Unborn Child. The film gained critical praise, for its rich language and use of song, and lyrical use of visual imagery. It won awards at the Sundance Film Festival and others.
The film features Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Barbara-O, Trula Hoosier, Vertamae Grosvenor, and Kaycee Moore. It was filmed on Saint Helena Island in South Carolina.
“A film of spellbinding visual beauty.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“This dreamlike, sonically and visually lush project about several generations of Gullah women at the turn of the twentieth century inspired Beyoncé, who lovingly salutes it in Lemonade. The film’s re-release guarantees a new generation of super-fans to share her devotion.”
– Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
“Julie Dash’s boldly imaginative , ecstatically visionary drama, from 1991, is one of the best of all American independent films; she turns one family’s experience of the Great Migration into a vast mythopoetic adventure… Dash plots family relationships with a novelistic intensity and observes the cultural interweave of Christianity, Islam, African and Native American religions, mysticism, and politics with luminous lyricism and hypnotic pageantry. The intimate action shimmers with mysteries and myths.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Haunting, spellbinding, and altogether extraordinary. The breadth of its ambition, the boldness of its vision, are reminiscent of the work of such European masters of cinematic allusiveness as Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni. And yet in content and style it is definitively, exuberantly African American. Years from now, cultural historians may well regard DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST as the point when black filmmakers began to grab hold of a distinctive voice uniquely their own. (Makes) you believe once again in the power of film to transform the way the outside world looks. There is something both daringly new and resonantly old about how director Julie Dash, in her first feature, tells this story.”
– Gene Seymour, Newsday (1992)