curated by Berenice Reynaud and Irina Leimbacher

Thursday, March 11th, 7pm

75 Years in the Dark: A Partial History of Film at SFMoMA

Bush Mama

 by Haile Gerima  97 minutes, 16mm (1976)
  with short Water Ritual #1: An urban rite of purification by Barbara McCullough  4 minutes, DVD (1979)

 Introduced by Billy Woodberry, filmmaker.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Phyllis Wattis Theater
151 Third Street
San Francisco

"Ethiopian-born Haile Gerima was not yet 30 when he completed Bush Mama, an early manifesto of the "Los Angeles Rebellion" of black filmmakers who were influenced by European neo-realism, the anti-imperialist mission of Third Cinema, and the emerging concept of Black Art." - curator Berenice Reynaud

"Dorothy is a mother in Watts, who despite the odds, tries to raise her daughter decently in an environment of harsh poverty. She becomes pregnant, the man in her life becomes incarcerated and the welfare department insists she have an abortion. After protecting her daughter from a rapist, Dorothy herself is jailed. The film depicts resistance and subsequent growth and transformation." Sankofa independent film distributors

"The first thing that strikes you about the film is the beautifully layered cacophony of the soundtrack as it swells around the heroine, who turns from a near catatonic zombie to a revolutionary during the course of the film. The soundtrack is used to highlight the confusion in her head and her distinct placement in a community of people." - review by Brandon Linden at Movie of the Week (blog)