Daughters of the Dust

L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 7:00pm

Filmmaker Julie Dash in person!  New 35mm print!
Introduction by Jacqueline Stewart, co-curator of L.A. Rebellion at UCLA.

The first American feature directed by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release, Julie Dash's 1991 masterpiece announced a formidable new talent with its masterful interplay of mise en scène, symbolic markers and magical realist gestures. Set in 1902, the film focuses on an extended family of Gullah, descendants of African captives who escaped the slave trade to live on islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. On the verge of moving the entire family to the American mainland, the many members of the Peazant clan clash over the meaning and implications of this crossing. Named to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2004, Daughters of the Dust eloquently frames questions that have preoccupied many independent filmmakers of Dash's generation: the place of family and tradition in ameliorating historical wrongs, the hope of spiritual escape from a history of trauma, and the elusive possibility of finding deliverance together.
(Julie Dash, 1991, 35mm, 112 min)

Preceded by:
The Diary of an African Nun  -  new restoration!
(Julie Dash, 1977, digibeta, 15 min)
Adapted from a short story by Alice Walker, this early short by Julie Dash anticipates Daughters of the Dust in its intensity, graphic simplicity, and the remarkable, pantomimed performance of star Barbara O. Jones.
Preservation funded in part with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Presented in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive and supported in part by grants from the Getty Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The series is curated by Allyson Nadia Field, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley and Jacqueline Stewart. Complete details on UCLA’s L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema initiative here.

University of Chicago Arts Council, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Tom Gunning/Mellon Fund, UC Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Logan Center for the Arts and the Ng Family Visiting Artist Fund, Conversations at the Edge, Block Cinema, Black Cinema House.