Subjects of Desire is a feature documentary that examines the cultural shift in beauty standards towards embracing Black aesthetics and features. Told from the point of view of women who embody our changing beauty norms, the film deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind beauty.
Subjects of Desire is a timely documentary film that examines the cultural shift in North American beauty standards towards embracing (or as some feel - appropriating) Black female aesthetics and features. From society’s new fixation on the ‘booty’, fuller lips, the dramatic rise of spray-tanned skin, ethnic hairstyles, and athletic bodies, some argue that Black women are having a beauty moment. But others, primarily Black women, argue that traditional Black features and attributes are seen as more desirable when they are on White women.
Subjects of Desire will examine these two points of view from the voices of women who are not afraid to challenge conventional standards of beauty. The film will explore some of the positive and negative portrayals of Black women in media and asks what is the impact today? It will also examine the historical and popular cultural expressions of Black and White beauty with the intent of uncovering how beauty has been constructed to define women in their daily lives.
Weaving through past and present and told from the point of view of women actively engaged in this debate, Subjects of Desire is a culturally significant, provocative documentary film that challenges and ultimately deconstructs what we understand about race and the power behind beauty.
Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer, producer and director. Jen’s feature producing credits include Home Again which she also wrote. The film won the PAFF–BAFTA Festival Choice Award and was nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards and a Director's Guild nod for Best Directing. Jen wrote the story for and produced the triple Genie nominated feature, Love, Sex and Eating the Bones that won 9 festival awards including the Best First Canadian Feature at TIFF. She is in post-production on the feature doc Hispaniola, with director Michele Stephenson (American Promise). She is also directing the feature doc Subjects of Desire about cultural appropriation and the Black female image. She produced the TV documentaries - Speakers For The Dead that she also directed (CBC), Badge of Pride (CBC & PBS), Brick By Brick (Omni), Yin Yin Jade Love (TVO), and Dolores: Art of Art Modeling (Bravo!)
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