For Paradise

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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.

Vienna International Film Festival (Viennale), Vienna, Austria 2016 (World Premiere)
CheapCuts Documentary Film Festival, London, UK 2017
BlackStar Film Festival, Philadelphia, USA 2017 (North American Premiere)
New Filmmakers New York, Anthology Film Archives, New York 2017
SuperNatural, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2017
Blank Check Gallery (In conjunction with Shana Hoehn’s exhibition The Boneyard), Houston, TX 2017
Through Her Eyes: Contemporary Shorts by Women of Color, BAM, Brooklyn 2018
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 2018

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