Black Mother

United States / 2018 / 77 minutes / NR

Part film, part baptism, in Black Mother director Khalik Allah brings us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica. Soaking up its bustling metropolises and tranquil countryside, Allah introduces us to a succession of vividly rendered souls who call this island home. Their candid testimonies create a polyphonic symphony, set against a visual prayer of indelible portraiture. Thoroughly immersed between the sacred and profane, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.

  • Director

    Khalik Allah

  • Producer

    Khalik Allah
    Leah Giblin

  • "Gliding from color to black and white, from digital to analog, from grim realism to spiritual ecstasy, the film offers a song of praise to the island of Jamaica and a reckoning with its painful history and hard-pressed present."

    — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
  • “A thrilling, hallucinatory portrait of Jamaican life and history.”

    Sight & Sound
  • "Black Mother is the beginning of a brand of Black auteurism exhibited by Allah and his contemporaries."

    — Tayler Montague, Reverse Shot
  • "A visionary filmmaker. Dazzling cinematic poetry."

    — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
  • "Black Mother finds Allah doubling down on his established aesthetic to bold, hypnotic ends."

    — Christopher Gray, Slant Magazine
  • "Comparisons of Black Mother to cinematic poetry are apt, but it’s harder to pinpoint than that. In just two films, he has developed and honed his incomparable style, providing the documentary form itself with one of the most memorable, intense experiences in recent memory."

    — Jason Ooi, The Film Stage
  • "Black Mother is a spiritual project, collapsing the beautiful and the profane."

    — Sierra Pettengill, frieze