Celebrating Daughters

Nov 11, 2016 by Marketing on The Nickelodeon Blog

Daughters of the Dust, directed and written by Julie Dash, opened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991. It won the Cinematography award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Daughters was also the first feature length movie by a female filmmaker of color to be theatrically released across the United States, and valued as a significant film by the film community.

The film features the women of the Peazant family: three generations of Gullah-Geechee women living off the coast of lowland South Carolina. The descendants of African slaves, these women navigate the turbulent waters of a partially remembered African heritage, smeared by the memory of slavery, and the choices offered to them by joining the Great Migration into the industrialized north.

Both the creation and the content of this movie changed the landscape of film for African-American women. Not stereotyped and not “niche,” the story is an intimate portrayal of unique intersections—past and future, African and American, woman and culture—that also speaks to universality of womanhood and the choices we are forced to make about heritage and progress. It opened the door for female filmmakers of color to share their stories and voices with national audiences.

Now, twenty-five years after premiere of this groundbreaking film, the Cohen Film Collection is enhancing and releasing the film with an updated color grading, stabilized images, and enhanced sound. From November 11-13, the Nickelodeon will join in celebrating the film’s legacy with a three-day film festival. In addition to screening Daughters of the Dust, we will be showing films from emerging filmmakers of color, who will be in residence for introductions, talkbacks, and discussion panels.

For more information and tickets, please visit our Daughters website.

-Laura Catherine Smith