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Daughters of the Dust 

When: Tue., June 19, 7:30 p.m. 2018
Price: $10-$15 suggested donation
tpr.org/topic/tpr-cinema-tuesdays
This independent art-house hit of 1991 showed audiences a vision so rare on screen as to be virtually unknown: an African-American community marked by beauty, poetry and feminine grace rather than ghetto squalor or angry blaxploitation. Set in 1902 and filmed on South Carolina’s Saint Helena Island, the film presents a summery, languorous series of scenes emphasizing three generations in the Gullah community. Speaking their own language in a non-linear story, the women meditate on how their world apart may disappear if they move to the mainland. Writer-director Julie Dash based the project on her own family history, and thanks to funding from PBS’ American Playhouse, this became the first feature directed by an African-American woman to receive a general release. Drafted into the National Film Registry in 2004 and screening locally as part of Texas Public Radio’s Cinema Tuesdays series, the film is a clear visual inspiration for Beyonce’s Lemonade and remains as graceful, refreshing and privileged a glimpse into an alternate black reality as Black Panther, though without all the fighting.

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