The screening will be introduced by Pollard, currently exhibiting in the group show BALTIC Artists’ Award 2019, and includes a rare chance to see filmmaker Julie Dash’s highly influential first feature, Daughters of the Dust (1991).
This evening includes the following film screenings:
Springtime in an English Village (1944)
Length: 7 mins
This extraordinary and unexpected snapshot of rural life in wartime - unseen for years due to the fragility of the materials - documents most ancient of English traditions: the selection and crowning of the Queen of the May. But what is so surprising is that 60 years ago the village of Stanion in Northamptonshire chose to honour a young black girl - apparently the daughter of an African merchant seaman who had been evacuated there during the War.
Jemima + Johnny (1966)
Length: 29 mins
The friendship of a young white boy and a black girl reaches out across the generations in this uplifting mid-60s short, directed by South African-born actor and anti-Apartheid activist Lionel Ngakane. Against a background media narrative suggesting ever-worsening racial tensions, Jemima + Johnny offered a refreshingly optimistic take on black/white relations in a post-riots Notting Hill. Jemima + Johnny won its director an award at the 1966 Venice Film Festival, the first black British film to be so honoured.
Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash (1991)
Length: 112 mins
Julie Dash’s first feature is a poignant portrait of three generations of Gullah women (descendants of West African slaves) at the turn of the 20th century as their family struggle with the decision to migrate from their sea island home off the coast of South Carolina to the mainland. Dash’s perspective is determinedly feminist as she fuses together image, sound, authentic dialect and traditions of African oral storytelling to portray the power, beauty, and resilience of black women. Her vision and aesthetic sensibilities perfectly capture a forgotten moment of the African American experience and charts new ground in the representation of black women on screen.