(Haile Gerima, United States, 1979, 16mm, 105 min)
New 16mm print!
It’s rare that a film brazenly combines realist politicking and fictional narrative, but in 1975 Los Angeles, Haile Gerima didn’t have time to flinch. In Bush Mama, whose very title pits the image of the tribal family against the American city, Gerima builds a heroine around the skeleton of his own observations: Dorothy, a single mother mistreated by the welfare system and harassed by the law. Dorothy’s resistance to cynical submissiveness appears on screen alongside the director and film crew as they fight for the right to tell Dorothy’s story on film. Bush Mama is accompanied by Bernard Nicolas’ short film Daydream Therapy, which delves into the mind of a hotel worker for whom daydreams are bread and butter.