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Conjure Women
A film by Demetria Royals
Produced by Louise Diamond
1995, 85 minutes, Color/BW, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W99427
CONJURE WOMEN is an exciting performance-based documentary exploring the artistry and philosophy of four African American female artists. Celebrated choreographer and dancer Anita Gonzalez was a founding member of and performer with Urban Bush Women and is now Artistic Director of Bandana Women. Robbie McCauley is a critically-acclaimed performance artist and theater director whose personal vision has consistently explored the 'herstory' of Black women. The stunning photography of Carrie Mae Weems captures a variety of images of African Americans. Vocalist and composer Cassandra Wilson (Grammy award winner for Best Jazz Vocalist) has released nine recordings of her work and was acclaimed in the New York Times as "the most important singer to come along in jazz in the last ten years." These four artists use their disciplines to reclaim their 'africanisms', an intuitive experience of what their foreparents had to deny if they were to survive. CONJURE WOMEN is a moving and entertaining record of the work of these remarkable women. It is also, as filmmaker Demetria Royals notes, "telling the story of African Americans in our own distinct and self-defined voices."


  • Maysles Cinema
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
  • Twin Cities Black Film Festival
  • Prized Pieces International Film and Video Award Cultural Affairs Documentary
  • Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institute
  • Women in the Directors Chair
  • National Black Arts Festival
  • American Film Institute
  • Nationally broadcast on PBS

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    "In its fusion of performance with personality, Royals' films conjures up an exciting vision of a new power being forged in the self-discovery of these extraordinary artists."
    Jack Kroll
    Senior Editor, Newsweek

    "*** 1/2 Highly recommended. Conjure Women is its own work of art, reminding the viewer of the simmering urgency and strength of the black female artist and of the simple, cathartic power of seeing the self."
    Video Librarian

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    Newest documentary from the filmmakers, who consider it the "companion piece" to Conjure Women.

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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 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