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A film by Julie Dash
1983, 34 minutes, BW, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W99306
The time is 1942, a year after Pearl Harbor; the place is National Studios, a fictitious Hollywood motion picture studio. Mignon Duprée, a Black woman studio executive who appears to be white and Ester Jeeter, an African American woman who is the singing voice for a white Hollywood star are forced to come to grips with a society that perpetuates false images as status quo. This highly-acclaimed drama by one of the leading African American women directors follows Mignon's dilemma, Ester's struggle and the use of cinema in wartime Hollywood: three illusions in conflict with reality.

From the director of the critically acclaimed DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST.

Digitally remastered.


  • Maysles Cinema

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    "Mckee’s strong performance and growing awareness throughout the film makes it both dramatically satisfying and also richly nuanced with issues of cultural appropriation and cooptation of black music and culture for commercial gain… The film’s relevance to some of today’s mainstream film and music industries and the dismissal and appropriation of black stories is also telling."

    “Illusion beats with a strong feminist heart: in the film Mignon Dupree learns to reject the Hollywood model but also to create her own.”
    Anne Christine D’Adesky
    The Guardian

    "One of the most brilliant achievements in style and concept in recent American filmmaking..."
    Clyde Taylor
    Guest Curator Whitney Museum of Art

    "Cleverly uses film itself as a metaphor for the myths fostered by whites and men about Blacks and women."
    Marcia Pally
    Village Voice

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us