A Powerful Thang

A film by Zeinabu irene Davis

1991 | 57 minutes | Color | 16mm/DVD | Order No. 99073

SYNOPSIS

This innovative drama, set in Ohio, traces an African American couple's search for intimacy and friendship. The spirited, African-identified Yasmine Allen is a writer and single mother who has been dating saxophone teacher Craig Watkins for a month. Wishing to end her self-imposed celibacy following her son's birth, Yasmine has reached a turning point in the relationship-but Craig, the Big Lug, wants to take it slow. Sage advice from friends and family members remind them, "sex is a powerful thang." Like her highly acclaimed CYCLES, Davis's film incorporates animation as well as Afro-Haitian dance in a rich exploration of the lives of African Americans.

PRESS

"Ingeniously pits desire for sexual intimacy against the need for love. A catalyst for in-depth discussions of intimate relationships. Dynamic and entertaining!"

Gloria Gibson-Hudson Black Film Center Archive, Indiana University

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Zeinabu irene Davis

Zeinabu Irene Davis is a director and producer who has received numerous awards for her work with film and video. Born in 1961 in Philadelphia, she received a M.A. in African Studies in 1985 at UCLA, where she also earned her M.F.A. in Film and Television production in 1989. She has received acclaim for her representation of the African American female perspective through a variety of works, which include documentaries, short narratives and experimental films.

Davis directed the film Cycles (1989), an experimental short which earned her an awards from the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and the National Black Programming Consortium. Her following works, A Period Piece (1991), A Powerful Thang (1991), Mother of a River (1995) and Compensation (1999) continued to garner her awards from numerous organizations and festivals, including the Gordan Parks Award for Best Director from the Independent Feature Project. Her latest project, Spirits of Rebellion (2011), is a documentary work-in-progress which gathers fellow L.A. Rebellion filmmakers and explores topics in African American film.

Davis has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts for her film work. After holding teaching positions at Antioch College and Northwestern University, Davis moved to teach at UC San Diego, where she currently serves as Professor of Communications. (03/19)

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