Daughters of the Dust
Feb 09 - Feb 23
(Julie Dash, US, 1991, 112 min)
At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots.
The first wide release by a black female filmmaker, Daughters of the Dust was met with wild critical acclaim and rapturous audience response when it initially opened in 1991. Casting a long legacy, Daughters of the Dust resonates today in the canon of African American and feminist cinema, and most recently as a major in influence on Beyoncé’s video album Lemonade. Restored by Cohen Media Group (in conjunction with UCLA) for the first time with proper color grading overseen by cinematographer AJ Jafa, audiences can finally see the film exactly as Julie Dash intended.
Visiting speaker Erika Dalya Massaquoi is a curator, educator, and entrepreneur. Massaquoi has taught cinema, new media and contemporary art at Yale University, New York University, and The New School for Social Research. Her academic work focuses on culture and media. Erika holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University and undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago. Her curatorial work includes exhibitions for the Frye Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) List Visual Arts Center, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She has held curatorial positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of the Moving Image.
"It’s a movie that runs less than two hours and feels like three or four—not in sitting time but in substance, in historical scope and depth of emotion, in the number of characters it brings to life and the novelistic subtlety of the connections between them, in the profusion of its ideas and the cinematic imagination with which they’re realized, in the sensuous beauty of its images and sounds and the indelibly exalted gestures that it impresses on one’s memory." - Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“Daughters of the Dust” Re-Released Following Attention from Beyoncé: Story on NPR