For Paradise

Selected film stills, For Paradise  (2016)

HD video and 16mm film transferred to HD video, Total Running Time 25 min.

My great-grandmother was a black woman known for her exquisite beauty, yet there are no recorded images of her. Her name was Paradise.

At the age of 18, I discovered a family history that had gone unspoken for a generation: my father’s father, whom I never met, was African-American—my father had been passing as white. He had also decided to raise our family as such, giving us no knowledge of our black ancestry. For Paradise is a hybrid documentary that traces the construction of racial identities within a family (my own) where members operate on both sides of the “color line.” Allowing the story of my great-grandmother Paradise to guide me through complicated family histories of migration and racial passing, I navigate the spaces where power can be found in absence and loss.

Selected public screening history:


  • Royal Bank Cinema, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama
  • Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn, Alabama


  • The Carr Center, Detroit, Michigan
  • Prismatic Ground Film Festival, New York


  • MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Vigo Museum of Contemporary Art, Vigo, Spain


  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


  • Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn, New York
  • Gallery 175, Seoul, South Korea
  • ma ma Contemporary Art Space, Toronto, Canada;


  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • BlackStar Film Festival, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • New Filmmakers New York, Anthology Film Archives, New York


  • Viennale (Vienna International Film Festival), Austria (World Premiere)

For screening inquiries, contact elizabethmwebb [at] gmail [dot] com