Black Mother

Date: Monday, April 8, 2019

Time: 7pm

Location: Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA

Director: Khalik Allah

Film Details: 2018, 77 minutes, DCP, English, color, sound

Film Website | Facebook Event | Tickets

Nominee for the New Vision Award at CPH:DOX. Winner of the Prix de l’expérimentation at the Montréal Festival of New Cinema. Official Selection of New Directors/New Films and the True/False Film Fest

Filmmaker Khalik Allah will attend in person for discussion with local filmmaker Chico Colvard, Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Massachusetts College of Art & Design

About the Film:

Part film, part baptism, in Black Mother director Khalik Allah brings us on a spiritual exploration through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Immersed into the sacred, the profane, and everything in-between, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.

“A brilliant meditation on Jamaican identity.” – IndieWIRE

“BLACK MOTHER is a lyrical tribute to mothers and the motherland — and a dismantling of colonial structures both in form and content… Allah has created a work of art that is alive in a way few films dare to be.” – Cedar Sherbert / AFI Fest

“Some films are likened to essays. This one is more of an epic poem: a raw, dense, impressionistic odyssey through Jamaican identity, national, personal and spiritual.” – The Guardian

Director’s Statement:

“A proclamation, a poem and a prayer punctuated by three trimesters; BLACK MOTHER is an audio-visual love letter to Jamaica.

I shot my last film in the streets. I shot this one on a river.

Everything in the film is connected through water; from the fruit to the land to the people, with a specific emphasis on the woman who carries life for nine months.

There’s no container for this film, it overflows with intimate portraiture and
prayers that are intended to hit you in the chest more than the head.

A form of herbal remedy consisting of proclamations from Maroon warriors.

A historical mirror shot on 16mm. Also Super 8, Hi-8 Tape, Mini DV and HD
Video. An exercise in style and aesthetic to showcase my range as a photographer.

A magnifier and mirror of modern day Jamaica reflecting its complicated history.

A generous singular vision depicted through the lens of family and spirituality.” -Khalik Allah

About the Director:

Khalik Allah is a New York based photographer and filmmaker who describes his work as Camera Ministry. Allah exploded on the film scene in 2015 with the documentary Field Niggas, shot at nighttime on the corner of 125th St. and Lexington Avenue in NYC. His first photography book Souls Against the Concrete, with images also shot on this street corner, was published by University of Texas Press in 2017. Photos from this were on view in a solo exhibition at New York’s Gitterman Gallery in Spring 2018. Allah’s second feature film Black Mother is an expansion of his unique filmic style, and began its journey with premieres at the True/False Film Fest, New Directors New Films, and CPH:DOX, followed by screenings at London’s ICA and Paris’ Centre Pompidou.

Screens with:

KINDAH (2016, 12 minutes, B&W / Color, Sound) by Ephraim Asili

Kindah was shot in Hudson, NY and Accompong, Jamaica. Accompong was founded in 1739 after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British leading to the establishment of a treaty between the two sides. The treaty signed under British governor Edward Trelawny granted Cudjoe’s Maroons 1,500 acres of land between their strongholds of Trelawny Town and Accompong in the Cockpits. Cudjoe, a leader of the Maroons, is said to have united them in their fight for autonomy under the Kindah Tree — a large, ancient mango tree that still stands to this day. The tree symbolizes the kinship of the community on its common land.