The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California on May 8, 1992 · 154
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The Sacramento Bee from Sacramento, California · 154

Sacramento, California
Issue Date:
Friday, May 8, 1992
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i S ii ENJOY GOOD FOOD & GOOD TIMES AT rffgleT) - RESTAURANT SPORTS BAR & GRILL BANQUET FACRITIES & CATERING Banquets Weddings Meetings Parties Complete Facilities for up to 350 Enjoy American Cuisine Lunch & Dinner Mon-Fri 1 1 am-lOpm 100 Smoke Free Atmosphere Live Stand-up Comedy Fridays 8pm Mystery Cafe Dinner Theater Fri-Sat 7:30pm Located at the Comer of 8th & "0" Street Downtown Sacramento Call 442-3663 for reservation hm E 11 1 VSE'RE kDTg "I IlLARIOUS!" BY SACRAMENTO'S PREMIERE PROFESSIONAL THEATRE DOES IT AGAIN "A FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT World-Class First-Run Theatre!" Sac This Week "THOROUGHLY ENTERTAINILIG A Revelation" -Sacramento Bee "A LOT OF A Canny Caddy Entertainment!" -SF Chronicle -Sac News & Review 111" ST THEATRE Presents Timothy Dusfield in INBE1101111S Mita A COMEDY AARON SORKIN (Author of the Broadway Hit "A Few Good Men") TUESDAYS - SUNDAYS THRU MAY 31ST TIlE "D" ST THEATRE 2711 B Street Downtown Sacramento All Seats $14 - Reservations 443-5300 1414611140101101111sunPld IOW loaPPME1210eatit410119010§11inekluPid ul UaPPII4 422 TICKET THE SACRAMENTO BEE FINAL 111 May 8 1992 1 5 t'1 1 A El 1 U 11 0 El Hidden in This PieturemIhtelinStneet TheatreoHidden in This PkiurcaTheelPStreet Then 11 II1 Immik n n tri F 11 i0 U k H P 61 7' rh i 7 'r" (14 By Joe Boltoke Bee Movie Critic 0 t sneaks up on you That's what it does It sneaks up on you Julie Dash's absolutely singular "Daughters of the Dust" which I think will prove to be an important seminal work in film history is off-putting at first treating the viewer as a stranger an interloper listening in on something profoundly private The first half-hour of this exquisite movie is like being invited to a large family gathering where you know absolutely no one except the person who invited you — and who is nowhere to be found You're left on your own mingling with and bumping into people who don't know you and who seem as if they don't want to know you They're family and they have their little secrets and rivalries that bind them as well as an intense culture that's entirely foreign to you But bit by bit you get to know them — who's related to whom and in what way — and you figure out their joys and fears and you begin to empathize It is an awkward period of adjustment but by the end of the day you're all old friends To appreciate "Daughters of the Dust" you have to be willing to experience this period of adjustment to indulge Dash and her unhurried leisurely way of dealing with her large assortment of characters — none of whom are really introduced to us and all of whom behave as if we aren't there listening and watching "Daughters of the Dust" about the large Peazant clan of Ibo Landing a Sea Island off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina isn't exactly an audience-friendly movie It doesn't cater to us it caters to its own its characters but it generously invites us to share a momentous occasion with them even if only as onlookers and to dine on the sumptuous scenery if not the succulent gumbo and fresh clams and scarlet tomatoes and yellow corn the family is sharing It is 1902 and we're at a picnic reunion of the Peaz ant family all of whom are direct descendants of slaves who never made it to the mainland but were left in relative isolation on the islands off Georgia and South Carolina where they not only worked the indigo rice and cotton plantations (until the Emancipation) but were also able to preserve many of their African traditions — a phenomenon called "African retention" — which they melded with their newly found Americanisms to form the unique Gullah culture This culture is represented by the melodic broken form of English they speak a patois Alva Rodgers left Barbara-0 and Cora Lee Day called Geechee On this day the family is gathering to remember and to say goodbye to Bo Landing: Two of their relatives cousins who have gone off to the mainland (which means they've gone north) are returning to escort the rest of the clan or most of it into — well — the 20th century The returning cousins symbolically represent the options opened to the Peazants in the North Viola (Cheryl Lynn Bruce) who has brought a photographer a Mr Snead (Tommy Hicks) with her to photograph the occasion for posterity is a fundamentalist Christian now well-educated but ungiving and totally unaccepting of the Peazant spiritualism that the clan's formidable old Nana (Cora Lee Day) wants to preserve Nana who will stay behind still has blue hands from the days she worked on the indigo plantations — and she has a head full of facts about her family and its roots She's the oral historian of the Peazants Also returning is Yellow Mary (played by the provocative Barbara-0) a "ruint" woman in that she went north and ended up working as a wet nurse and then a prostitute She's returned with her lover Trula (Trula Hoosier) -another black prostitute whose complexion truly is yellow A couple of telling subplots woven into the multilayered f- f BIWONJ ETS1 ! - 4 - f r 'Daughters': A onemol-G-hind gem nonlinear narrative by Dash include the hostility of an in-law (Kaycee Moore) an educated woman who has nothing but contempt for the backwater ways that Nana represents and the plights of the young couple Eli and Eula Peazant (Adisa Anderson and Alva Rogers) whose unborn baby may be the product of a rape by a white man a landowner Dash lets us know that the baby is Eli's by having a ghostlike character called "the unborn child" (Kai-Lynn Warren) narrate the movie along with Nana In a playful recurring bit the unborn child also has a way of invading Mr Snead's photographs 17? he movie is as pleasurable to watch as "The Big Chill" (which it structurally resemr bles) and it's as historical in its own way as "Roots" And while one can quibble with the fact that there are convenient representative types here whose diatribes and speeches are perfectly composed (and also terribly modern) you can't deny that these words and the attractive images speaking them are downright hypnotic I loved listening to these people — to the melody and cadences in their voices and to the wisdom in their words Julie Dash restores the pleasure of listening to movies And watchi-ng toa She fills her film - : f : 14 : 441 do 1 4r" 04 4 ' - 4 ii '': - - - - ) 'k- ' ' 7 k1' 1 4 f 1 k ItS7'i ' kt li t !Iv' ' i 11 1 4 t- : 44: k - :: 1 4 ' 't''t:: 4 ' iii 0 '' t rN— -0:'0 -ti- e 1 0 ( s to Ittk t 4 ss‘Q- ' ( c48'-i-'-' ' tlmt ( "i i die ‘‘)I '- : ''''' ' ' ( ( eel) -' - i 7-7 I — It ' ' -- o 54ri": 4 - - ' 4- t - it” ' :-------- ': :- --- 4'a Alva Rodgers left Barbara-0 and Cora Lee Day ! - called Geechee nonlinear narrative by Dash On this day the family is include the hostility of an in- gathering to remember and to law (Kaycee Moore) an educat tr - r climN

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