Daughters of the Dust (1991)
June 5, 2020 1:16 AM - Subscribe

Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last ...

I saw this rarely-shown film at Film Forum in February in a packed crowd. I think I read that Criterion is streaming it for free right now. For all its visual languor, a challenging film that expects you to subdue yourself to its rhythms. Shockingly, director Julie Dash has never gotten to make another Hollywood movie, though her influence can be seen in Beyonce's Lemonade.
posted by praemunire (2 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As of 05 June 2020, Criterion is streaming this for free (I am testing this out from a USA internet connection.) No word on how long this offer will last. You can find it here. It is not immediately obvious that you need to click on the picture of the movie in the lower left corner of the screen to play the film.
posted by seasparrow at 6:14 PM on June 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

#octothorpe and I saw this at Ebertfest in 2018. It's intensely emotional. I loved the pacing & what Julie Dash (the director) called a griot structure, based on an African storyteller tradition.

After the screening there was a discussion with Julie Dash, the director. She did a lot of historical research, and she modeled the costumes on historical photos from the time but executives and critics kept challenging her that they weren't realistic. The white dresses based on the Gibson girl fashions from 15 years prior to the time period of the film, but they frayed them to show that they were hand-me-downs. Also the indigo hands are intended to be a representation of slavery instead of the more typical whip marks which she felt people had become desensitized to it.

She also threw in that she had to keep telling cast members not to wrap up their hair like Aunt Jemima because it was inauthentic, - that style was invented by Gone w/ the Wind.

Apparently when Beyonce's Lemonade was released, she thought her was website was broken because it got Slashdotted. And when she finally saw Lemonade she loved it so much she forgot to look for references to her own work.
posted by DarthDuckie at 9:41 AM on June 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

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