Myth, the supernatural and black female storytelling in three 1990s classics

Black-womanhood_DotD

Asked who the greatest storytellers in the world are, I’d be tempted to point in the direction of black women.

Why? Well we’re full of stories, passed down to us by our mothers and our mother’s mothers.

We can convey how we feel with a slight raise of an eyebrow. Our tongues tease around language to find the most delectable word or phrase. If a suitable word doesn’t exist, we’ll make one up, enriching the world around us with a new word to add to the lexicon.

Yes, we’re full of stories, yet we rarely hear black women’s stories in the media – and only very occasionally in the cinema.

Read the full article at BFI.

I don’t always get paid for my work, so if you’ve liked my pieces and want me to write more you can donate a couple pennies to keep me going in between paid work.

Advertisements

10 great documentaries about iconic musicians

Le Tigre sit on a kerb in front of a brick wall with bottles of water.

Lead singer in Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin, Kathleen Hanna was the central figure in riot grrrl, a feminist punk movement born in the US in the early 1990s. She’s also known for inspiring Kurt Cobain to write one of Nirvana’s most famous songs after spray painting “Kurt smells like teen spirit” on his apartment wall.

Travelling through Hanna’s life up to the present day, The Punk Singer shows Hanna struggling with her diagnosis of late-stage Lyme disease and the treatment she has to endure. While the film was made with Hanna’s fans in mind, treating them to unseen footage and candid interviews with contemporaries such as Kim Gordon and Lynn Breedlove, there’s an emotional honesty on display here that should prove affecting even to viewers with no understanding of Hanna’s work or influence. Sini Anderson’s film is a superb portrait of a once vibrant music icon looking back at her glory years with wonder.

Read the full article at BFI

I don’t always get paid for my work, so if you’ve liked my pieces and want me to write more you can donate a couple pennies to keep me going in between paid work.

Beyoncé vs Daughters of the Dust: How an American indie classic inspired Lemonade

lemonade-2016-002-beyonce-with-face-paint-black-and-white

When director Julie Dash created the groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust (1991), a multigenerational tale of black women from the Gullah sea islands struggling to hold on to their culture, little did she know that 25 years later her work would be held up on the world stage thanks to one of the music industry’s most influential artists: Beyoncé.

The singer’s breathtakingly lush visual album, Lemonade (2016), tackled issues of black womanhood, southern traditions, race and female rage. Although Lemonade was the artist’s second visual album, it stands out as the first time the artist seems to have created music to soundtrack a standalone film. Given the subject matter and the detail paid to the cinematography, Dash’s film provided an obvious touchstone to inspire Beyoncé’s vision.

Read the full article at BFI.

I don’t always get paid for my work, so if you’ve liked my pieces and want me to write more you can donate a couple pennies to keep me going in between paid work.