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‘An Oversimplification of Her Beauty’ Opens In South Africa (Black Films Don’t Sell Overseas?)

'An Oversimplification of Her Beauty' Opens In South Africa (Black Films Don't Sell Overseas?)

It was about 2 weeks ago when I posted an entry dismissing the industry-held belief (and sadly, amongst some of *us* as well) that “black American films don’t sell overseas.”

Read it HERE is you missed it.

In that post, I listed 2 countries that my research showed have demonstrated strong interest in black American films, given the number of black American films that have been released in those countries in recent years, as well as how well they performed at the box office, especially relative to mainstream Hollywood films – in some instances, outperforming those. 

The two countries were England and South Africa

Black filmmakers who read that post would be wise to take that piece of information into consideration, when plotting a release strategy for their future films, and research entry-ways into those markets especially (although there are others).

While I’m certainly not implying that my post had anything at all to do with the fact that Terence Nance’s feature film debut, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (an indie film too) will be opening theatrically in South Africa, I thought it was definitely worth mentioning that it is, given debates we continue to have about black films playing in overseas markets.

The Bioscope Independent Cinema in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, will run the film in a limited (1-week) release, starting this weekend. 

I believe this will be the film’s first non-USA commercial theatrical release. Yes, it’s *limited*, but its USA release has been *limited* as well.

For our readers in the area, go to the Bioscope’s website HERE for times and ticket information.

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This film was amazing. I pray we have the ability to buy it soon.


I wish this film played longer in NYC. Only 2 weeks at Cinema Village. hope it airs on cable.

S. Abaka

That's great that there is interest for black movies overseas…but the question is why movies like this that depict young blacks are human with feelings don't get major movie releases in this country? I haven't seen this movie being played except at minor film festivals…


I have personally witnessed the popularity of Black films in England. Not only are they greeted with relative enthusiasm but England has a decent offering of homegrown indie films by Black filmmakers for quite a number of years. And many moons ago I saw a film at a very chic cinema house (that's what artsy, chic movie theaters are referred to-lol) in Brixton much like the ones that have recently been built in Harlem. Much like Black music from abroad find an enthusiastic in England, so does Black film (on occasion, even the bad quality ones).

Justin Jordan

I'm proud to see another indie film maker's art receive such accolades against insurmountable odds and invisible budget. I can't wait to see the film. The trailer alone is intriguing, beguiling.


Last night at the screening of Daughters of the Dust screening during the Q and A, Julie Dash talked at length about how the film has been shown all over the world since it was first released. (She told of one story back in 2009 where the film was shown in Taipan and the floor and ceiling of the theater lobby were lined with blown up images of the film "like the Cestine Chapel") She's traveled around the world three times showing the film to huge and enthusiastic crowds and said that film is probably more popular overseas than it is in the U.S. And in fact she's going back to China in Nov to show the film again there.

And yet what do we hear from some commenters when the subject of selling and showing black film overseas? "There's no market" and "They don't care about us?" What kind of self defeating, "Yes-massa-we-is-po'-black-folks", slave mentality is that? Talk about being brainwashed!

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