×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dark Girls

Combats discrimination in which women with the darkest complexions are made to feel less beautiful or desirable than their light-skinned counterparts.

With:
With: Cheryl Grills, Tifase Webb, Soren Baker, Ronald Boutelle, Michael Colyar, Benson Cooke, Viola Davis, Tim Foley, Lynne Herod-DeVerges, Douglas Kearney, Daryl Rowe, Matthew Shinoda, Emily Yang.

More self-esteem booster than sociological study, “Dark Girls” combats the negative effects of “colorism” within the black community — discrimination in which women with the darkest complexions are made to feel less beautiful or desirable than their light-skinned counterparts. The fact that such prejudice reps a largely black-on-black phenom demands education and therapy, both of which this disjointed docu-essay attempts to deliver. Mixing contradictory man-on-the-street interviews with soundbites from psychiatrists and academics, “Dark Girls” frames the problem but fails to engage in a compelling way. As such, theatrical exposure will be minimal, with classrooms and television serving as far likelier outlets.

For co-directors Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, who spent years collecting the testimony that appears onscreen, the goal is to serve up a dialogue starter, one that sends an unconditional “black is beautiful” message. In order to sway audiences, however, they need a hook: A central character would help (as in “America the Beautiful”), or perhaps a charismatic host (as in “Good Hair”). Instead, pic juggles too many talking heads, accompanied by generic, YouTube-grade B-roll. The kids in particular are heartbreaking and deserved more screentime than the celebs interviewed.

Popular on Variety

Dark Girls

Production: A Duke Media and Urban Winter Entertainment presentation of a DarkGirls production. Produced by Bill Duke, D. Channsin Berry. Executive producers, Duke, Berry. Co-producer, Bradinn French. Directed, written by Bill Duke, D. Channsin Berry.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, DV), Johnny Simmons, Carl Bartels, Mark Cohen, Lawrence Dennis, Colin Battiste; editors, Bradinn French, Steven Hall; music, Kurt Farquhar. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Real to Reel), Sept. 15, 2011. Running time: 75 MIN.

With: With: Cheryl Grills, Tifase Webb, Soren Baker, Ronald Boutelle, Michael Colyar, Benson Cooke, Viola Davis, Tim Foley, Lynne Herod-DeVerges, Douglas Kearney, Daryl Rowe, Matthew Shinoda, Emily Yang.

More Film

  • Isabelle HuppertIsabelle Huppert Life Achievement Award,

    The Arcs Festival Taps Isabelle Huppert to Head The Talent Village For Young Helmers

    Guillaume Nicloux, the French director of “Valley of Love,” is set to preside over the jury of the Arcs Film Festival, while the iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) will be the patron of the second edition of the Talent Village. Created last year, the Talent Village is a development workshop and platform for emerging [...]

  • Isaac Perlmutter Disney Marvel

    Does Kevin Feige's Marvel Promotion Mean Ike Perlmutter's Endgame?

    Last week’s move giving Kevin Feige charge of Marvel’s television, animation and print editorial operations should come as no surprise. As the architect of the company’s enormous film success, Feige arguably has the most enviable track record of any contemporary entertainment executive. Extending his creative control over more of the Marvel universe seems like a [...]

  • Santa Barbara

    Anais Pareto Onghena Brings ‘Santa Barbara’ WIP to Impulso Morelia

    Having impressed at the Morelia Intl. Film Festival in the past with her short films, Spanish born, Mexican trained filmmaker Anaïs Pareto Onghena returns to the Michoacán capital with her latest feature “Santa Bárbara,” participating in the Impulso Morelia works in progress sidebar. Bárbara, a Bolivian woman living in Barcelona for more than a decade, [...]

  • Anna Movie

    EuropaCorp's U.S. Arm Gets Six-Month Debt Waiver From Paris Court

    EuropaCorp Films USA, the U.S. arm of Luc Besson’s Paris-based company, has been granted a six-month debt waiver from a French commercial court. Parent company EuropaCorp has already been on a six-month debt waiver since May, and the protection is supposed to come to an end in late November. A source close to the company [...]

  • Charles Tesson, Katrin Pors and John

    Morelia, Locarno Festivals Host Fifth Academy for Young Professionals

    Mexico’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM) and Locarno Academy are hosting the fifth edition of their joint academy for young professionals at this year’s festival, supported by the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE) and the Ibermedia program. The Morelia/Imcine-Locarno Intl. Industry Academy – it’s official name . counts as one of a series of Academies hosted [...]

  • THE IRISHMAN (2019)Ray Ramano (Bill Bufalino

    Middle East Premiere of Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman' to Open Cairo Film Festival

    The Middle East premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will open the Cairo Film Festival, which has assembled a rich lineup of international and Arabic titles for its 41st edition. “The Irishman” will screen in the Egyptian capital Nov. 20 prior to being dropped globally by Netflix onto its service Nov. 27. Scorsese’s mob epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content