Cinema’s Legacy

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST

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  • In her iconic feature film directorial debut, filmmaker Julie Dash beautifully weaves lush lyrical imagery and a poetic narrative to transport us into the tapestry of Gullah culture, descendants of slaves off the Georgia coast. Narrated by the voice of an unborn child, DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST introduces three generations of the Peazant family as they embark on a journey from their native St. Helena Island to the North, perceived to be the land of opportunity. However, along the way, the underbelly of early 20th-century racism, rape, class distinction and an unwanted pregnancy threaten the trip and thrust the clan into a whirlwind of conflict. Critically acclaimed and lauded with an award for cinematography and a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST was the first feature film directed by an African-American woman to receive mainstream theatrical distribution in the United States. — Yvonne Williams

  • AFI Conservatory alumna Julie Dash (AFI Class of 1974) broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991). Her films include SUBWAY STORIES: TALES FROM THE UNDERGROUND (1997), FUNNY VALENTINES (1999), INCOGNITO (1999), LOVE SONG (2000) and THE ROSA PARKS STORY (2002).

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