A film by Khalik Allah
2018, 77 minutes
No. 212


A visionary filmmaker and photographer, Khalik Allah exploded onto the world of documentary cinema in 2015 with Field Niggas, a grassroots production capturing candid Harlem street life which went from a YouTube upload to taking the festival circuit by storm. He followed this with a contribution to Beyonce’s video album Lemonade

In Black Mother, his latest project, Allah brings us on a spiritual journey through Jamaica, the land of his mother’s birth. 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. 

Part film, part baptism, Black Mother channels rebellion and reverence into a deeply personal ode informed by Jamaica’s turbulent history but existing in the urgent present.

Official Selection, New Directors / New Films
Official Selection, True / False Film Festival
Official Selection, CPH DOX

"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

“Stunning. Transfomative. A gigantic step towards a reckoning with the black history of the world… Black Mother may be the most fearless film I’ve seen in a decade.” – Frameland

"Black Mother is the beginning of a brand of Black auteurism exhibited by Allah and his contemporaries." — Reverse Shot

"A visionary filmmaker. Dazzling cinematic poetry." — Indiewire

"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." — The Film Stage