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The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.
Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, the film opens a window into lives, experiences and perspectives of black families that is absent from the traditional historical canon. These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and society and its founding ideals.
Inspired by Deborah Willis's book Reflections in Black and featuring the works of Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh and many others, Through a Lens Darkly introduces the viewer to a diverse yet focused community of storytellers who transform singular experiences into a communal journey of discovery – and a call to action. – First Run Features
For many Black girls raised in the suburbs, the experiences of going to school, playing on the playground, and living day-to-day life can be uniquely alienating. Black Girl in Suburbia looks at the suburbs of America from the perspective of women of color. Filmmaker Melissa Lowery shares her own childhood memories of navigating racial expectations both subtle and overt-including questions like, "Hey, I just saw a Black guy walking down the street; is that your cousin?"
Through conversations with her own daughters, and with teachers and scholars who are experts in the personal impacts of growing up a person of color in a predominately white place, this film explores the conflicts that many Black girls in homogeneous hometowns have in relating to both white and Black communities. – Women Make Movies