Jeanne writing here! I am writing this post in support of April Reign, who is pushing Hollywood to get better about Black representation in front of and behind film and TV cameras (and my love of film). Indeed, the rest of the world does a better job at representation than Hollywood does. That’s why I clear my April calendar every year to go to the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film festival where I can be intentional about my film selections. I’ll be seeing some 40-50 films in 2 1/2 weeks, most which are directed by women. Below I will share some of the films I will be seeing.
For the first time, the festival has a section of films by and about Black people called Black Cinema, Under the Skin. For its debut five films are included, all of which look good. I’ll be seeing:
On the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria.
The Wedding Ring
Western-educated Tiyaa returns to Niger, bound to marry someone she doesn’t love. She finds solace in the stories of other women.
About the fight for justice in Ferguson. The Yarn Mission mothers (CheyOnna, Taylor, and Kay) all found each other here and know the director and many of the people in the film.
There’s a free panel discussion on Black films and Black filmmakers through the lens of Africa and the African diaspora. April 22nd, 1pm at the A-Mill Artists Lofts.
And one whole shorts program by and about Black people, three of which were Minnesota-made.
There are also a few films about Black people but directed by white people. I mistrust those films because they tend to suffer from the white gaze: films created for white audiences that reinforce stereotypes and white supremacy.
Unlike most, two films directed by white people have teams behind the camera that include a lot of Black people:
Dispatches from Cleveland
Doc about the fight for justice for Tamir Rice.
This film follows one Black family in Philly.
Here are a few others I think folks in the Twin Cities who are interested in intersectional justice might like to see:
Lipstick Under My Burkha
Four women in rural India will bend, or outright break, society’s rigid codes. A celebration of women’s struggle for freedom in India.
Doc about the difficulties mixed race people have in finding bone marrow donors.
Sounds like the beginning of a joke: Three Israeli Palestinian citizens choose to live together, a Christian, a Muslim, and a lawyer…
First Daughter & the Black Snake
Winona LaDuke battles Enbridge!
By the Time It Gets Dark
A meta film. A film about a filmmaker telling the story of one civil rights fight in Canada.
A history of Rio de Janeiro’s brilliant cross-dressing community who refer to themselves as divas.
Her last name is Huerta. You may not know about her because she was kicked out of the United Farmer’s Union after Cezar Chavez died. Learn about her now.
We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice
First Nations citizens suing the Canadian government for long-overdue equity in child & family services.
Doc about Iranian women in a prison outside of Tehran, filmed over seven years.
Anatomy of Violence
Director Deepa Mehta explores the story of woman in India gets who gang raped on a bus and dies of her injuries.
The Sami people are Scandinavian’s Indigenous people. This narrative film explores how they were treated in Sweden in early 20th century.