Directed by Khalik Allah
USA | 77 min | 2018
Part film, part baptism, in Black Mother director Khalik Allah brings us on a spiritual exploration through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home.
Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Immersed into the sacred, the profane, and everything in-between, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.
Khalik Allah (b.1985) is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker whose work has been described as “street opera” simultaneously visceral, hauntingly beautiful and penetrative.
Khalik’s passion for photography was sparked when he began photographing members of the Wu-Tang Clan with a camera he borrowed from his dad.
Real and raw, his profoundly personal work goes beyond street photography. His eye for daring portraiture and bold aesthetics takes us into an entire world.
While the people he photographs on the corner of 125th and Lexington Avenue in Harlem have been his central inspiration, his work also extends to documentary film with “Field Niggas”, a chronicle of summer of nights spent at the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. The film takes its name from Malcolm X’s famous lecture, “Message to the Grassroots.”
Khalik shoots with a manual, analogue film camera, as photography and film-making form a venn diagram in his work.