I suppose there are a few black people who have yet to see Julie Dash’s landmark 1991 film “Daughters of the Dust”; and if there are, I just haven’t met them yet.
A film that can be legitimately called one of the most significant and influential films of the last quarter century of cinema, “Dust” made a triumphant return to the big screen last year in celebration of the 25th anniversary of its initial release.
The film, which was the first American film made by an African American female filmmaker to get a wide theatrical run, screened to acclaim last year at the Cannes, Toronto and Chicago film festivals, from a new 2K restoration (supervised by cinematographer Arthur Jafa), making the film even more beautiful that it already was.
Set in the early 1900s, “Daughters” paints a vivid portrait of Gullah Geechee culture – communities descended from enslaved Africans who settled along the coast and Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. The film captures the last gathering of the Peazant family, as the younger generation prepares to leave the island and their matriarch, Nana Peazant (Cora Lee Day), for the promise of the mainland.
Along with the stunning color cinematography by Jafa, the evocative production was designed by the widely heralded artist, Kerry James Marshall.
And now the new 2K restored version of “Daughters of the Dust” has become commercially available courtesy of independent distribution company, Cohen Media Group, who was also responsible for the restoration. This week, on April 11, “Daughters of the Dust” was released on blu-ray for the very first time, along with a wealth of special features, including: an interview with director Julie Dash and Dr. Stephane Dunn (director of Cinema, Television, and Emerging Media Studies at Morehouse College); a Q&A session with director Julie Dash and actress Cheryl Bruce taped last year at the Chicago International Film Festival, moderated by actress Regina Taylor; an Interview with cinematographer Arthur Jafa; and an audio commentary by director Julie Dash and Michelle Materre (Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film at the New School in New York).
Surely the long awaited blu-ray release of this new stunning restoration of this seminal film, is one of major releases of the year. And to celebrate, Shadow and Act is giving away 2 copies of the 2-disc blu-ray package. To win one of the 2, all you have to do is email email@example.com with the words “Daughters Giveaway” in the subject box. That’s it! You have until Monday, April 17 at 11:59PM EST to enter the giveaway. And on Tuesday, April 18, two winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries and notified via email. So make sure you use an email address that you check frequently. Unfortunately, this is open to USA residents only.
Of course, you can always just buy yourself a copy for $17.99 on Amazon.com.
Here’s the trailer for the 2K restored film: