Black Barbie: A Documentary

Loft Film Fest

Black Barbie: A Documentary


General Admission: $12 | Loft Members: $10

Passes Not Accepted

The Sunday, October 15 screening will include a post-film panel discussion featuring:

Adiba Nelson: author (Meet Clarabelle Blue and Ain’t That a Mother) and Pima County Libraries Writer in Residence

Dr. Lisa Covington: Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Arizona’s Center for Digital Humanities and in Africana Studies; Co-founder of The Global Institute for Black Girls in Film & Media

J. Eik-Diggs: Program Specialist in Academic Empowerment and Education for Tucson Unified School District; heritage language educator and PhD Candidate in Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies, University of Arizona

Dr. Dawn Demps: Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Educational Leadership, Theory & Policy in the University of Arizona College of Education.

This intergenerational panel will focus on their own experiences of girlhood and play involving dolls, racial identity formation and representation at the intersection of gender and socioeconomic status, and inclusion in terms of toys—specifically dolls and histories of childhood and play through the lenses of film, education, culture and knowledge.

Black Barbie is a personal exploration that tells a richly archival, thought-provoking story that gives voice to the insights and experiences of Beulah Mae Mitchell, the aunt of the Los Angeles-based filmmaker, who spent 45 years working at Mattel. Upon Mattel’s 1980 release of Black Barbie, the film turns to the intergenerational impact the doll had. Discussing how the absence of black images in the “social mirror” left Black girls with little other than White subjects for self-reflection and self-projection, Beulah Mae Mitchell and other Black women in the film talk about their own, complex, varied experience of not seeing themselves represented, and how Black Barbie’s transformative arrival affected them personally. (Dir. by Lagueria Davis 2023, United States, English, 100 mins., Not Rated)

Other festivals: SXSW, Hot Docs, American Black Film Festival

1 HR 40 MIN | NR

Released 2023
Black Barbie: A Documentary Trailer
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