African American Independent Filmmaker, Julie Dash: Developing a Black Female Voice in Daughters of the Dust
Rhea Lynn Combs
Thesis DT 3.5 1994 C731
x, 125 leaves ; 29 cm.
This thesis examines African American independent filmmaker Julie Dash and shows how her work counteracts the pejorative and denigrating images of Black people in the American cinema. For years, African American independent women filmmakers have been producing creative works which place women in the center of the plot's development. Julie Dash is, however, the first African American independent female filmmaker to have her feature- length film nationally distributed. An examination and evaluation of Dash's work shows that she develops strong, positive African American women characters full of critical self-consciousness and positive self-regard. By placing her female characters in the center of the film's narrative and visual strategies, and by showing diverse African American experiences, Dash challenges the pejorative and ever-present stereotypes of African American women. Ultimately, her cinematic style of rich characterizations, varying narrative techniques and bold cinematography constitutes a film signature for Dash that means her films educate, entertain, as well as agitate the cultural politics of mainstream American society.