Black Mother is a Polyphonic snapshot of Jamaica – A Look At its Holy Men and Working Women
Black Mother traces an undocumented side of Jamaica but it’s also a film about Jamaican roots.
Khalik Allah’s 2015 documentary “Field Niggas” – a reference to Malcolm X’s delineation of the two types of slaves – was a provocative portrait of the homeless folk, alcoholics, and K2 drug addicts on one of Harlem’s most deprived blocks.
Since then – aside from working on Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” – has spent the past three years deep in the edit for his next film, Black Mother. Once again, he manages to find new space between political realism and hallucinatory filmmaking.
Black Mother elevates Allah’s trademark of slow-mo portraits and out-of-sync audio, switching seamlessly from Super 8 to HD video. It’s a remarkably tuned, polyphonic snapshot of the neighbouring worlds of Jamaica’s holy men and working women that disrupts linear, stock, Western narratives, while also flipping the lens on his own identity – Allah’s mother is Jamaican and his grandfather lives there.