Arthur Jafa

  • Menace II Society

    IT IS ONLY WITH DIFFICULTY that I tolerate the mediocrity of most contemporary black cinema, a trick I manage by constantly reminding myself that mediocrity is a necessary stage in the development of a mature practice. What I’m unable to tolerate is the delusional critical assessment of these films. Simply put, the so-called New Black Film Renaissance is as clear a case of the Emperor’s new clothes as I How can think of. With a handful of exceptions, these films are barely worth discussing in anything but the most base sociological or, worse, commercial terms. The incapacity, really the

  • LA VÉNUS NÈGRE

    Ten years of research, fundraising, and production went into the making of Daughters of the Dust, which later this month will become the first feature-length film written, directed, and produced by an African-American woman, Julie Dash, to enjoy a major theatrical release. The story, set in the Carolina Sea Islands at the turn of the century, focuses on the Gullah people, a group of African-Americans who retained a distinct Africacentric culture during slavery because they were isolated from the Southern mainland. The film’s central theme is the spiritual conflict experienced by one Gullah family