Trailer for Khalik Allah’s Heralded ‘Black Mother’ Bridges the Sacred and Profane

Written by on February 15, 2019 

A buzzed-about highlight of last year’s festival circuit, Khalik Allah’s Black Mother hits U.S. theaters next month. The visual artist, best-known for collaborations with Beyoncé (as DP on Lemonade) and the Wu-Tang Clan, follows up 2016’s much-praised Field Niggas with a poetic, sometimes dizzying vision of Jamaica, the country’s history, and what that means for its people. Shot with a variety of film stocks and heavily manipulative in its use of sound, the movie could be called Malick-esque, but, blissfully, a focus on documentary portraiture will throw most viable comparisons out the window rather fast. One sees shades of this in its trailer, which nevertheless only captures an experience in bits and pieces.

Our review was laudatory, saying, “Comparisons of Black Mother to cinematic poetry are apt, but it’s harder to pinpoint than that, more aptly described in relation to sound or music–free-flowing jazz, fluidly connecting otherwise inconceivable strands of culture, politics, and history in Jamaica. The faces shown rarely match the soundscape and the audio and visual components of the film seem to operate parallel to each other. Words, in this case, fill in what traditional scoring tries but often fails to accomplish. In just two films, he has developed and honed his incomparable style, providing the documentary form itself with one of the most memorable, intense experiences in recent memory.”

Watch and find the poster (designed by Midnight Marauder) below:

Black Mother opens on March 8.


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