Set in the legendary Sea Islands off the South Carolina/Georgia coast in 1902, acclaimed filmmaker Julie Dash’s landmark drama Daughters of the Dust follows a Gullah family (descendants of West African slaves) on the eve of its migration to the North.
“A modern classic and one of the greatest American independent films ever made.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker
Led by a group of women who carry with them ancient African traditions, the extended family readies itself to leave behind friends, loved ones and their insulated way of life. Can these women hold fast to their sacred religious beliefs and customs, or will they be swept into the race toward an era of science and industry? This gorgeously-photographed and richly-costumed drama, structured in tableaux to reflect the art and icons of African tradition, testifies movingly to the secret celebrations and packed-away sorrows of African American women. The first widely-released feature 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, the film still resonates today, most recently as a major influence on Beyonce’s video album, Lemonade. This stunning new 25th anniversary restoration of Daughters of the Dust finally allows audiences to see the film exactly as director Julie Dash intended. (Dir. by Julie Dash, 1991, USA/UK, 112 mins., Not Rated)