Alfreda's Cinema Presents: In My Mother's House
DIRECTOR: CAMILLE BILLOPS, JAMES HATCH, RASHAYLA MARIE BROWN
“For Mother’s Day, Alfreda’s Cinema screens two short works that carefully and compassionately expose the pain shared by mothers and daughters. “In my mother’s house there is still God,” says Beneatha Younger after absorbing the force of her mother’s backhanded blow, words from Lorraine Hansberry which reverberate through dysfunctional families. What’s seen to a mother as disobedience can also be a daughter’s heartfelt response, coming to terms with maternal pressure and the scars it leaves. Rashayla Marie Brown and Camille Billops are two filmmakers who use satire to explore the unspoken or miscommunicated exchanges between Black mothers and their adult daughters that often can wound both parties. We love our mothers but where do we draw the line when we can no longer shoulder the brunt of their will? “—Melissa Lyde, curator.
Reality is Not Good Enough (22min, 2021)
Beyond parody, Reality is Not Good Enough is a sincere investigation of the filmmaker’s mother and her failed attempt to become a reality TV star, as well as Brown’s attempt to redeem her experience as a film director.
Suzanne, Suzanne (30min, 1982)
Together with James Hatch, Billops weaves oral history and fictional re-stagings to create candid portraits of her family. In their first collaboration, Hatch and Billops comfort Billops’s niece Suzanne as she recounts harrowing experiences of abuse and heroin addiction.
Followed by an in-person discussion with the director, Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB), this program celebrates the life of film curator Michelle Materre.