The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul and the Capri Theater present Daughters of the Dust, directed by Julie Dash, at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 1. Esteemed local playwright Christina Hamm will lead the post-film discussion. Tickets to First Thursday Films @ the Capri are $5; purchased in advance at mspfilm.org or at the door the night of the show. The Capri is located at 2027 West Broadway.
Daughters of the Dust tells the story of a multigenerational family in the Gullah community in the Sea Islands off of South Carolina in 1902. There, three generations of women are struggling to compromise between the views of the Americanized sisters who view their homeland’s way of living as backwards, and a family elder who embodies the traditions and folklore of their African roots.
Film critic Roger Ebert wrote, “[Daughters of the Dust] is all a matter of notes and moods, music and tones of voice, atmosphere and deep feeling. …If Dash had assigned every character a role in a conventional plot, this would have been just another movie — maybe a good one, but nothing new. Instead, somehow she makes this many stories about many families, and through it we understand how African-American families persisted against slavery, and tried to be true to their memories.”
Daughters of the Dust was the first full-length film by an African-American woman to receive general theatrical release in the United States. This film was also selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Playwright Christina Hamm will lead an invigorating conversation after the film. Hamm is a Core Writer of the Playwrights’ Center and an Andrew Mellon playwright-in-residence at Pillsbury House Theatre. Her plays have been developed and produced both nationally and internationally with the Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Goodman Theater, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Tokyo International Arts Festival among others.
First Thursday Films @ the Capri are screened on the first Thursday of every month, and all moviegoers are offered a “buy one, get one free” pass to the series. Next up: Medicine for Melancholy on January 5.
This screening of Daughters of the Dust is part of Black Cinema: Under the Skin, a program of films by Black filmmakers exploring Black culture and experiences, funded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. First Thursday Films @ the Capri is also supported by the law firm of Grey Plant Mooty and the Minneapolis Foundation. More info, full schedule at thecapritheater.org and mspfilm.org.