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Daughters of the Dust1991

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  • 3.7
  • passes the bechdel test
A film of spellbinding visual beauty and brilliant resonant performances, Julie Dash's DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST has become a landmark of independent film. With great lyricism, DAUGHTERS tells the story of a large African-American family as it prepares to move north in the early 1900s. Using this simple tale, the film brings to life the changing values, conflicts and struggles that confront every family as they leave their homeland for the promise of a new and better future. In addition to this emotionally charged epic drama explores the unique culture of the Gullah people, descendants of slaves who lived in relative isolation on the Sea Islands off the Georgia coast. As the generations struggle with the decision to leave, their rich Gullah heritage and African roots rise to the surface. Amongst a score of extraordinary performances are Cora Lee Day as Nana, the matriarch of the peasant clan, Alva Rogers as Eula, who has been raped by a white landowner, and Barbara-O as Yellow Mary, a woman of the world who has come home "ruint" from Cuba. DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST is an African-American treasure; a vitally important work by a major directing talent.

What makes this film worth watching? See All Reviews

Added to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2004.


2 members like this review

A one-of-a-kind, magnificent work of feminist Tribalism. Beautiful photography, script, acting, and herstorical research make for a film that is in a genre of its own. A must for anyone who is interested in Tribal culture. It helped me to read about the Gullah people before watching this film, to understand the references, language, and herstorical context. This is a film I will never forget.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (11)

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top reviewer

A one-of-a-kind, magnificent work of feminist Tribalism. Beautiful photography, script, acting, and herstorical research make for a film that is in a genre of its own. A must for anyone who is interested in Tribal culture. It helped me to read about the Gullah people before watching this film, to understand the references, language, and herstorical context. This is a film I will never forget.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

I was looking forward enthusiastically to seeing this film. Imagine my disappointment when I could not understand most of what the characters were saying. Why was "yellow Mary" going to get married? Why did they all want to move north? It's too bad; it was a beautiful visual film, but without subtitles, it was pretty much incomprehensible to me. (Maybe I live too far north for that accent!)

2 members like this review

I agree completely. Visually this is a stunning film and the acting is amazing from what little I could understand. But it was very hard to follow. I still watched the entire movie though. Just the everyday activities the characters where doing and the interactions they were having was enough to keep me watching.

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If you read the Wikipedia entry on Gullah before watching it will help to explain much of the context, including why they were moving north.

As beautiful and powerful upon this watching as it was upon the first, almost twenty years ago. It yields new riches upon each viewing. A classic.

1 member likes this review

loved it!

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Incredible story and journey of the freed human spirit, yet the conflict of minds wrestling with the questions that President Abraham Lincoln contemplated as he tried to guide a nation torn apart by the same questions posed by Thomas Pain in the 1780s, "How can a nation heal itself from 300 & more years of denying the humanity of some & creating conflict that stays with us in the U.S.A. to day in 2015. Ms. Dash is a powerful yet sensitive film maker. She creates living breathing characters on the cinema screen in the manner that author Toni Morrison creates upon the pages of her historic novels. I would love to see Ms. Dash produce and direct her take on, For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide: When The Rainbow is Enuff.

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top reviewer

Beautiful cinematography and story chronicling the life of the Gullah people living on the Gullah coast who come face to face with western civilization when their younger generations decide to leave their native homeland and migrate north, seeking better opportunity. Part of the LA Rebellion era in American cinema, this film is, indeed, a classic.

Beautiful Photography

GOOD MOVIE TO WATCH

loved it, reminded me who I am. thank you

The truest account I've seen. Lovely!

Amazing! A must see movie for all cultures.