Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Julie Dash’s groundbreaking, urgent and poetic film continues to resonate.

Film details

Introduction

Julie Dash’s majestic first feature is a poignant portrait of three generations of Gullah women (descendants of West African slaves) at the turn of the 20th century as their family struggles with the decision to migrate from their sea island home off the coast of South Carolina to the mainland. Daughters of the Dust portrayed a new type of blackness and black identity – one located in a pastoral island setting still informed by myth and ancestral traditions.

Dash’s perspective is determinedly feminist as she fuses together image, sound, authentic dialect and traditions of African oral storytelling to portray the power, beauty and resilience of black women. Her vision and aesthetic sensibilities perfectly capture a forgotten moment of the African American experience and charted new ground in the representation of black women on screen.

Cast & Credits

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