“Subjects of Desire” screening at the 30th anniversary of the Pan-African Film Festival – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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Screening of “Subjects of Desire” on the 30th anniversary of the Pan-African Film Festival

Cover of the movie Subjects of Desire (photo with permission)

“Subjects of Desire,” a provocative feature-length documentary written and shot by Jennifer Holness, was screened at the 30th anniversary of the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles last weekend from April 19 to May 1.

Jennifer had to move her 30th wedding anniversary to Greece to attend the show at this festival, that’s how special it was for her. The documentary has premiered at more than 30 film festivals around the world, but supporting the black community is always a great feeling, she said.

The film covers in great detail the history of feminism in America and how it has affected the beauty pageant contest, especially for black women. The inspiration for the creation of “Subjects of Desire” came from Jennifer Holness’s three daughters and their struggle with their beauty.

Photo by Indie Arie from the documentary interview (photo with permission)

When the elder was fifteen, she began to notice that she was struggling with her image. So she managed to make a documentary to help all three of her daughters understand that the way young black women see themselves is created by society.

There were some parts of African-Canadian and African-American history that her daughters, as well as many young black girls and women, did not know about. Jennifer believed that teaching their history would help them understand why black women find it harder to learn to find values ​​in themselves.

She states: “The dominant narrative is designed to reduce us. I want to challenge the system with my work. I want to look at how we see things. I want black women and girls to rethink how they felt that way. ”

Jennifer Holnes, reacting to her daughters struggling with internal battles, broke her: “I’m crying thinking about it.” She noticed that her senior prefers braids over natural hair and can’t get compliments if they are done by her predominantly white classmates. The elder showed that she does not believe that these compliments are real, and tries her best to fit into the overall image of beauty.

When Jennifer was younger, she struggled with the same internal battles. A native of Jamaica, moving between Canada and New York, she began to notice that she was black and unwanted. Since she was not fair-skinned with straight hair, she also did not fit on basic standards of beauty. As an avid reader at a young age, she realized the dangers of white supremacy and began to reject basic dialogues about what beauty is.

Holnes argues, “Black culture is so appropriated. Black culture is American culture. Americans have adapted our culture and are trying to master it. “

Jennifer believes that it is necessary to change the way celebrities from list A reap the benefits of blackness, without even thanking the community that came up with the inspiration and creativity.

Her suggestion for this change is that these companies, which profit from black creatives, invest back in the black community. Taking everything and getting nothing back is not the case and needs to change. “It’s very insulting when so much is appropriated and nothing is returned to the community.”

Learning about the history of beauty contests and how it interfered with the feminist movement led to the idea that the contests would become the center of a documentary. Jennifer Holness received permission to film women shown on the 50th anniversary of Miss Black America, and it was there that she received interviewers for this documentary.

It turned out great because of the six women she interviewed, three won the competition. Indie Arie and Julie Black are the voices of entertainment programs that appeared in the documentary, which explain how they were able to help ordinary blacks using their platform.

Jennifer is pushing for “Subjects of Desire” to be shown in schools and universities across America. “My film brings together many elements and I think it’s a great way for young black girls and women to understand themselves and how to move in this world.

It’s also a great conversation for white girls and women to learn about their privileges. This can start a conversation about what real allies look like. I think it can be something very useful for inner selfishness and external conversations with different communities. “

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