Black Mother

USA 2018. Dir: Khalik Allah. 77 min. DCP

“Poetic, elliptical, concise ... The gaze directed at the black faces and bodies in Black Mother is not a male gaze, or a documentarian’s gaze. It is a gaze of love.”
GLENN KENNY, NEW YORK TIMES

“Allah’s intimate, finely textured images ... reverberate with a rapturous style to match their insight and empathy.”
RICHARD BRODY, THE NEW YORKER

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! Acclaimed New York-based photographer Khalik Allah made waves in 2015 with his one-man documentary Field Niggas, an immersive, hyper-lyrical portrait of a single street corner in East Harlem. That sui generis work caught the eye of pop-music matriarch Beyoncé, who enlisted the 30-year-old director for the visual component of her landmark sixth album Lemonade. With his breathtaking new film, Allah hones his singular, sensorial aesthetic and trains his (many) cameras on the island nation of Jamaica, his mother’s birthplace. Shot on myriad formats (16mm, Super 8, digital HD) to match its multitude of contributing voices, Black Mother is Allah’s frenetic, ecstatic, collage-like pilgrimage through Jamaican culture and history — as well as his personal, poetic homage to Black womanhood and maternity. (The film’s movements are marked by the trimesters of a pregnancy.) An unforgettable, highly individualistic feat of “non-fiction” filmmaking by a prodigious talent to watch.


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REVIEWS

“Brilliant ... A challenging and profound deep-dive into Jamaican identity that rewards repeat viewings and confirms the aesthetic of a visionary filmmaker.”

IndieWire | full review

"An epic poem: a raw, dense, impressionistic odyssey through Jamaican identity, national, personal, and spiritual. It is a real original."

The Guardian | full review