African/Af. Amer, Biographical, Historical/Period
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This artistic and evocative documentary is part cinematic baptism, part audiovisual love letter to Jamaica. Filmmaker Khalik Allah (the force behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade) has returned to his mother’s homeland over the years to create a montage of the island’s inhabitants. While soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, the viewer meets a succession of souls—prostitutes and churchgoers, Rastafarians and rappers, mothers and farm workers—who call the island home. Their candid testimonies about everything from personal struggles to local history create a polyphonic symphony in the form of intimate portraiture.
Immersed in the sacred, the profane, and everything in between, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode to and close-up mirror of modern-day Jamaica, informed by the country’s turbulent past but existing in the urgent present.
This visual gut punch of a documentary captures the hardships and, believe it or not, the hopes of workers at both a state-owned copper mine in Serbia and an illegal gold-mining operation in Suriname, putting a face on the human toll exacted by global economic turmoil.
In the post–civil rights era, the public-television variety show SOUL! celebrated black literature, music, and politics. Its host and producer, Ellis Haizlip, had his own story to tell. This intimate portrait of a charismatic soul also captures a critical moment in our cultural evolution.
One by one, the lights are dimming on the last remaining roller rinks in the United States—leaving a community of thousands in the dark. This documentary, by turns pumped-up and poignant, pulls you onto the floor to see—and into the struggle to save—what’s left of African-American skating culture.