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As part of our monthly film series Ellipses, Khalik Allah will bring us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica in Black Mother. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Thoroughly immersed between the sacred and profane, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.
Director’s Statement about Black mother
A proclamation, a poem and a prayer punctuated by three trimesters; Black Mother is an audio-visual love letter to Jamaica. I shot my last film in the streets. I shot this one on a river. Everything in the film is connected through water; from the fruit to the land to the people, with a specific emphasis on the woman who carries life for nine months. There’s no container for this film, it overflows with intimate portraiture and prayers that are intended to hit you in the chest more than the head. A form of herbal remedy consisting of proclamations from Maroon warriors. A historical mirror shot on 16mm. Also Super 8, Hi-8 Tape, Mini DV, and HD Video. An exercise in style and aesthetic to showcase my range as a photographer. A magnifier and mirror of modern-day Jamaica reflecting its complicated history. A generous singular vision depicted through the lens of family and spirituality.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“Stunning. Transformative. Black Mother may be the most fearless film I’ve seen in a decade.” — Frameland
“Critic’s Pick! Black Mother announces itself as an evocation, invocation, and chronicle of birth and life.” — The New York Times
“Gorgeous. A lush sensory experience. A dreamy portrait of Jamaica, Allah’s mother’s childhood home.” — The Hollywood Reporter
ABOUT KHALIK ALLAH
Khalik Allah is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker who describes his work as Camera Ministry. Allah exploded on the film scene in 2015 with the documentary Field Niggas, shot at nighttime on the corner of 125th St. and Lexington Avenue in NYC. His first photography book Souls Against the Concrete, with images also shot on this street corner, was published by University of Texas Press in 2017. Photos from this were on view in a solo exhibition at New York’s Gitterman Gallery in Spring 2018. Allah’s second feature film Black Mother is an expansion of his unique filmic style, and began its journey with premieres at the True/False Film Fest, New Directors New Films, and CPH:DOX, followed by screenings at London’s ICA and Paris’ Centre Pompidou.