Black Mother is part film, part baptism; a spiritual exploration through Jamaica from New York-based photographer and filmmaker, and Beyonce collaborator Khalik Allah.
Described by Indie Wire as ‘oral history as art,’ Black Mother takes the audience on a journey loosely organised as the three trimesters of a woman’s pregnancy, all the while meandering through the testimonies of the Jamaican people. From the street prostitutes to the amputees for whom health care is but a distant dream, Allah delves deep into the stories of some of Jamaica’s poorest inhabitants, uncovering fascinating links between the present and the past.
Unsettling yet deeply immersive, Black Mother begins with an examination of Jamaican political and religious history told through the voices of those Allah encounters on the street, before loosely considering contemporary society. Then, in the final ‘trimester,’ Allah explores Jamaican identity and the afterlife.
Diving deep into the sacred, the profane, and everything in-between, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a personal ode – informed by the country’s turbulent history, but existing in the urgent present.
BBFC Advice: Contains strong sex references, language, drug misuse
Running Time: 1hr 17mins
BBFC Advice: 15
Director(s): Khalik Allah
Year of release: 2018