Director: Ayoka Chenzira Run Time: 85 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 1994
Starring: Isaiah Washington, Kim Weston-Moran, Lee Dobson, Mizan Kirby, Victoria Gabrielle Platt
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An essential film in the ‘90s Black cinema canon, ALMA’S RAINBOW was written, directed, and produced by acclaimed film and video artist Ayoka Chenzira, one of the first African Americans to teach film production in higher education and among the first African-American woman animators.
A coming-of-age comedy-drama about three African American women living in Brooklyn, ALMA’S RAINBOW explores the life of teenager Rainbow Gold (Platt) as she enters womanhood and navigates standards of beauty, self-image, and the rights women have over their bodies. Rainbow attends a strict parochial school, studies dance, and lives with her straitlaced mother Alma (Weston-Moran), who runs a hair salon in the parlor of their home and disapproves of her daughter’s newfound interest in boys. When Alma’s free-spirited sister Ruby (Kirby) returns from Paris after a ten-year absence, the sisters clash over what constitutes the ‘proper’ direction for Rainbow’s life. ALMA’S RAINBOW highlights a multi-layered Black women’s world where the characters live, love, and wrestle with what it means to exert and exercise their agency. – KinoLorber
“A gorgeous clarion call for our young Black girls, heralding the community, creativity and confidence that is the pride of our culture.” – Ava DuVernay
“Chenzira’s much celebrated and award winning early work is essential viewing today as much as it was when first released in 1994.” – Julie Dash
“Ayoka has been and remains an important filmmaker whose works inspire and celebrate the richness of Black culture. Through her vision, we witness the pain and beauty of the Black experience in a way that encourages hope and love. We need this.” – Ruby Dee