(1991, dir Julie Dash, USA, 112 min) At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots.
Cohen Media Group is proud to present the 25th anniversary restoration of director Julie Dash’s landmark film “Daughters of the Dust.” The first wide release 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, “Daughters of the Dust” still resonates today, most recently as a major in influence on Beyonce’s video album “Lemonade.” Restored (in conjunction with UCLA) for the first time with proper color grading overseen by cinematographer AJ Jafa, audiences will finally see the film exactly as Julie Dash intended.
Julie Dash began her film studies at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1969, receiving her B.A. in film production from the City College of New York in 1974. She went on to become a fellow at the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Film Studies before earning her M.F.A. in film and television production at UCLA in 1985. In 1977 she made The Diary of an African Nun, a film based on a short story by Alice Walker, which won a student award from the Directors Guild of America. Dash's critically acclaimed short film Illusions (1982) won the Black Filmmakers Foundation Jury Prize for Best Film of the Decade. Her 2004 short film Brothers of the Borderland is on permanent exhibition at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Introduction by Yemisi Jimoh, Department of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst.
Co-sponsored by: the University Museum of
Contemporary Art, Amherst.